The Heller myotomy is a procedure used to treat achalasia. Achalasia is a rare disease which makes it difficult to swallow foods and liquids.
If you have achalasia, the nerve cells in the lower esophageal tube and lower esophageal sphincter don’t work properly. Two problems result: You lack peristalsis (the waves of muscular contraction that push food down your esophagus); and the lower esophageal sphincter (the “gateway” to your stomach) doesn’t open fully.
A esophageal manometry is the test measures the pressure inside the lower esophageal sphincter, and may be used if your physician suspects an esophageal movement disorder.
This minimally invasive procedure may be aided by the da Vinci robot. The surgeon divides the esophageal muscle and the sphincter muscles allowing food and liquids to pass to the stomach.
Patients should expect to be in the hospital for 2-3 days following the surgery. Patients may experience pain at the incision sites and in the chest, as well as mild difficulties swallowing.