Surg Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;85(3):483-93. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2005.01.002.


Surgical therapy (Heller myotomy) is the most effective treatment to relieve dysphagia associated with achalasia. The advent of minimally invasive techniques, specifically the laparoscopic approach, significantly reduced the morbidity of surgical therapy, making it the procedure of choice for most patients who have achalasia. Pneumatic dilatation is a viable alternative, though is associated with inferior results and a higher risk of esophageal perforation than surgical therapy. Pharmacotherapy and Botox provide inferior results and should be reserved for temporizing therapy, or for patients who are deemed too frail for surgical intervention. For best results, a laparoscopic myotomy should be carried at least 3 cm onto the stomach, and a partial fundoplication should be performed to reduce the incidence of postoperative GE reflux.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Barium Radioisotopes
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dilatation / instrumentation
  • Esophageal Achalasia* / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Achalasia* / drug therapy
  • Esophageal Achalasia* / surgery
  • Esophagoscopy / methods*
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Manometry / methods
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Thoracoscopy / methods


  • Barium Radioisotopes
  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A