What is achalasia?
The esophagus is a muscular tube that joins your mouth to your stomach. With achalasia, the smooth muscle fibers fail to relax. This can cause the sphincter to remain closed and fail to open when needed, which is referred to as a spasm. When the muscles spasm, it may feel like food is stuck in the esophagus and won’t go down. This can also cause a feeling of heartburn or a squeezing type of chest pain that can spread to the neck, arm or back.
How is it diagnosed?
We diagnose achalasia with esophageal manometry and barium swallow radiographic studies.
How we treat Achalasia
We can treat achalasia with certain medications, such as Botox. Surgical interventions that provide more permanent relief include esophageal dilatation and Heller myotomy, which is a surgical cleaving of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.