Progressive difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) can sometimes indicate this benign (non-cancerous) disease of the esophagus.
Achalasia is usually diagnosed with a barium esophagram. A gastroenterologist will also perform an endoscopy and a manometry test, which evaluates the ability of the esophagus to work as a muscle.
The procedure performed to correct achalasia requires an overnight hospital stay. Laparoscopic Heller myotomy and Dor fundoplication is performed through five incisions, all less than 1cm in size.
The day after surgery, an esophagram is performed to check the repair. A liquid diet must be started prior to discharge from the hospital.