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Achalasia is a very rare chronic of the esophagus, which is caused by a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LDS). The lower esophageal sphincter is a muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Due to a lack of muscle relaxation or too high pressure at this transition, it comes mainly to painful swallowing. In the further course, the esophagus can completely lose its natural mobility. Then less and less chyme gets into the stomach. It comes to malnutrition and heavy weight loss. If left untreated, the risk of complications ranging to esophageal cancer increases. In the therapy of achalasia, mainly surgical procedures are used.
Typical symptoms of achalasia include dysphagia and cramping pain when eating. In later stages of development heartburn and acid regurgitation are added. Also typical are pain behind the breastbone, which is often misinterpreted as chest tightness (angina pectoris). The symptoms increase when lying, because undigested stomach contents (reflux) runs back unhindered. This sometimes results in significant sleep disturbances.
There is a wide range of therapeutic procedures for achalasia therapy. However, these can only alleviate the symptoms. There is currently no causal therapy with healing.
In 90% of cases, surgical intervention promises the best chance of long-term relief. However, the procedures described below sometimes have to be repeated after a few years.
|Estimate Achalasia Treatment Costs|
|Heller myotomy surgery for achalasia of the esophagus||from €9,700|