Learn about the Poem Surgery Atlanta. Discover Achalasia treatments including different types and classifications of achalasia, aiding in understanding the condition better and its impact on the esophagus.
IBI Healthcare Institute specializes in esophageal motility disorders such as achalasia and offers the latest minimally invasive procedures such as Oral Endoscopic Myotomy aka POEM procedure and Robotic Heller Myotomy for Achalasia.
Poem Surgery Atlanta: Achalasia Causes
Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus that makes it difficult to swallow solid or liquid foods. The esophagus is the tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach
The Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) is a muscle located at the lower end of the esophagus, where it connects to the stomach. When the LES tightens, food can’t move from the esophagus into the stomach. On the other hand, if LES relaxes, food can move from the esophagus into the stomach. Several reasons for having achalasia:
- The lower part of the esophagus does not work normally.
- The LES doesn’t relax, so food can’t move into the stomach.
Poem Surgery Atlanta: Achalasia Symptoms ?
The most common symptom of achalasia is trouble swallowing foods and drinks. Other symptoms can include:
- Chest pain.
- Losing weight without trying.
- Feeling like you lump in your throat.
- Nausea and vomiting undigested food.
- Dysphagia (food getting stuck in the esophagus).
Poem Surgery Atlanta: Achalasia Treatments
Yes. If your doctor or nurse suspects that you have achalasia, you will do 1 or more of the following tests:
Your doctor will give you a drink called “barium.” Then you will take an X-ray as the barium moves down your esophagus.
Your doctor will put a thin tube into your mouth or nose and down into the esophagus. The tube will measure the pressure there. This test can tell your doctor for sure if you have achalasia.
Your doctor will put a thin tube with a camera on the end into your mouth and down into your esophagus and stomach. You will look at the lining of the esophagus and stomach. You might also take a small sample of tissue from the lining and look at the sample under a microscope.
How is Achalasia Treatment Performed?
Doctors can treat achalasia in different ways. Treatments cannot cure achalasia, but they can improve symptoms. The different surgical treatments that will give the best result long term, include:
Different medicines can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). People can take these medicines before they eat. This is a temporary measure and medications can have side effects such as low blood pressure.
Shot of Botox into the LES
During an upper endoscopy, a doctor can give a shot of Botox into the LES to make it relax. This is a temporary measure- may last 2 to 5 months.
Making the LES Wider
During an upper endoscopy, a doctor can use a thin wire to put a special balloon through a person’s mouth and down into the esophagus. The balloon is deflated until it reaches the LES. The doctor puts air into the balloon to widen the LES. Then you let the air out of the balloon and remove it and the wire.
Laparoscopic (or Robotic) Heller Myotomy vs. Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy ( POEM ) procedure: A doctor can cut open the LES to make it wider. This can be done by making small cuts in the belly or chest, or during an upper endoscopy without cutting through the skin at all.
What is the POEM Procedure?
Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) is the endoscopic equivalent of surgical myotomy and a newer technique for the management of achalasia. Additionally, POEM uses the principles of submucosal endoscopy to create a tunnel in the submucosal layer of the esophagus and proximal stomach. Furthermore, doctors perform esophageal and gastric myotomy through this tunnel using a flexible endoscope. Doctors personally perform POEM without making any incisions in the chest or abdomen, ensuring minimal pain and a fast recovery.
This is a new procedure and very few surgeons around the country are offering this novel treatment approach to achalasia. However, in some studies, POEM was superior to Heller myotomy (another surgical option), especially for type III achalasia.
In addition, conditions such as “Jack Hammer Esophagus” and “diffuse esophageal spasms” can be treated with POEM procedures.
Heller Myotomy: this is done laparoscopic or Robotic through a small incision in the abdomen. This is a surgical procedure in which the muscles of the cardia (lower esophageal sphincter or LES) are cut, allowing food and liquids to pass to the stomach.
Which Achalasia Treatment is Right for Me?
To choose the treatment that’s right for you, talk with your doctor. Ask him or her about the benefits, risks, and side effects of each treatment.
Do I Need to Follow up with My Doctor?
Yes. You will need to follow up with your doctor regularly. Moreover, you need to check that your treatment is working and that it isn’t causing side effects.
Your doctor will also keep checking you for long-term problems. That’s because people with achalasia have a higher-than-normal chance of getting cancer or other problems with the esophagus.