Achalasia Treatment, New York
Achalasia is caused by dysfunction of the esophagus, the muscle that is responsible for carrying food from the mouth to the stomach. This typically occurs when the muscle in the lower part of the esophagus is incapable of relaxing during meal time, and the nerves in the esophagus are not working to help push the food along.
This condition can make it difficult for patients to swallow food or liquids. It can also cause the backflow of food and drink after consumption. Other common symptoms include coughing and chest pain. While somewhat rare, achalasia is very disruptive.
While the exact cause of achalasia is unknown, the likelihood of developing the condition increases with age. Further, some patients may be genetically predisposed to the condition.
In 2009, Winthrop Hospital was the first in the U.S.
to offer the endoscopic Heller Myotomy procedure
There are several non-surgical treatments for achalasia including BOTOX injections and medications, however they do not treat the root cause of the problem and the problem will return when the treatment is stopped. Surgery, however, can offer a more lasting solution.
At NYU Langone Long Island Surgical Associates, we are able to treat this painful condition through a procedure known as the Heller myotomy. This surgery involves cutting the outer layer of the esophageal muscle to alleviate the pressure and constrictions of the esophagus. By weakening the muscle, this procedure makes it easier for patients to swallow.
As an advanced surgical center, NYU Langone Long Island Surgical Associates, in conjunction with Dr. Stavropoulos, of the institute for Digestive Disorders in the Winthrop Digestive Disease Institute, is proud to offer a less-invasive form of Heller myotomy, known as endoscopic myotomy. This procedure uses a thin surgical camera called an endoscope, which is inserted through the mouth to give the surgeon a clear view of the esophageal muscles. Because this procedure does not require any outward incisions, it is considerably less invasive than traditional Heller myotomy, and requires less recovery time, while still yielding exceptional results.
As a leader in minimally invasive surgery, Winthrop Hospital was the first in the United States to offer this procedure in 2009.