Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 2270–2276 | Cite as

Effects of Previous Treatment on Results of Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy for Achalasia

  • Marco G. Patti
  • Carlo V. Feo
  • Massimo Arcerito
  • Mario De Pinto
  • Andrea Tamburini
  • Urs Diener
  • Walter Gantert
  • Lawrence W. Way


Until recently, pneumatic dilatation andintrasphincteric injection of botulinum toxin (Botox)have been used as initial treatments for achalasia, withmyotomy reserved for patients with residual dysphagia. It is unknown, however, whether thesenonsurgical treatments affect the performance of asubsequent myotomy. We compared the results oflaparoscopic Heller myotomy and Dor fundoplication in 44patients with achalasia who had been treated withmedications (group A, 16 patients), pneumatic dilatation(group B, 18 patients), or botulinum toxin (group C, 10patients). The last group was further subdivided according to whether there was (C2, 4 patients)or was not (C1, 6 patients) a response to the treatment.Results for groups A, B, C1, and C2, respectively, were:anatomic planes identified at surgery (% of patients) — 100%, 89%, 100%, and 25%;esophageal perforation (% of patients) — 0%, 5%,0%, and 50%; hospital stay (hrs)-26 ± 8, 38± 25, 26 ± 11, and 72 ± 65; andexcellent/good results (% of patients) — 87%, 95%, 100%, and50%. These results show that: (1) previous pneumaticdilatation did not affect the results of myotomy; (2) inpatients who did not respond to botulinum toxin, the myotomy was technically straightforward and theoutcome was excellent; (3) in patients who responded tobotulinum toxin, the LES muscle had become fibrotic(perforation occurred more often in this setting, and dysphagia was less predictably improved);and (4) myotomy relieved dysphagia in 91% of patientswho had not been treated with botulinum toxin. Thesedata support a strategy of reserving botulinum toxin for patients who are not candidates forpneumatic dilatation or laparoscopic Hellermyotomy.



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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco G. Patti
  • Carlo V. Feo
  • Massimo Arcerito
  • Mario De Pinto
  • Andrea Tamburini
  • Urs Diener
  • Walter Gantert
  • Lawrence W. Way

There are no affiliations available

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