A laparoscopic Heller myotomy is a surgical procedure used to treat achalasia, a condition in which the esophagus doesn't push food and liquid into the stomach normal and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not relax properly. During the procedure, the surgeon cuts the muscle across the junction between the esophagus and stomach to open the LES and allow food and liquids to pass from the esophagus to the stomach. A side effect of the operation is worsening gastroesophageal reflux, so the surgeon will also perform a fundoplication (stomach wrap) to minimize this risk. The procedure is done laparoscopically, meaning that small incisions are made and a camera is inserted to guide the surgeon.
The thoracic surgeons at Baylor Medicine are experts in all types of achalasia treatment, including endoscopic therapies such as balloon dilatation, Botox, and per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) as well as laparoscopic Heller myotomy to help patients make an personalized informed decision on their best treatment solution.
It is important to follow the doctor's instructions for post-operative care, such as diet, taking medications and avoiding certain activities. After recovery, most patients can return to their normal activities and experience significant relief from achalasia symptoms.