Achalasia is a rare problem and causes trouble swallowing. The exact cause is unknown, but it leads to a spasm and disco-ordination of the muscle in your oesophagus (food pipe). This means food is held up in your oesophagus feeling like it is stuck, and can lead to regurgitation, dilation of the oesophagus, weight loss, chest infection and rarely oesophageal cancer. Tests are required to diagnose this, including gastroscopy, barium swallow and manometry swallow tests.
Treatment involves releasing the spasm in the muscle in the lower part of the oesophagus. This can be done internally (down the throat) with a gastroscope balloon dilatation or muscle division (an advanced new technique called per-oral endoscopic myotomy (‘POEM’)). Laparoscopic keyhole surgery (Heller’s myotomy) is an alternative technique and can address both the swallowing difficulty and reflux disease (which can occur after the muscle is released).
All services are offered by Dr. Le Page and he audits the outcomes of his patients to ensure the highest standard of care. If you feel a specialist review may be indicated for you, please discuss with your GP and call (02) 9767 7908 to arrange an appointment with Dr. Le Page. Your individual circumstance will be clarified by Dr. Le Page during your review.