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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Achalasia – balloon dilation or surgery?

Renata Tabola, Krzysztof Grabowski, Andrzej Lewandowski, Katarzyna Augoff, Krystyna Markocka-Maczka

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1089-1094

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.884028


Background: The optimal therapeutic schedule in patients with achalasia is still under discussion. The aim of this study was to review our institution’s experience with myotomy and dilation in patients with achalasia.
Material and Methods: Clinical data were available for 59 patients who had ever had myotomy (n=38), dilation (n=21), or both procedures (n=8) between 2000 and 2007. Patients were followed prospectively with objective (a barium esophagogram) and subjective (a simple survey that scored dysphagia and overall patient satisfaction with the procedure) diagnostic tools. In the group of patients after pneumatic dilatations, frequency of interventions was higher (1, 2) than in the myotomy group (0, 2) at 2-year follow-up. Patients after myotomy with recurrence of dysphagia were treated with dilations.
Results: Mean time of dysphagia occurrence was similar in both groups (10 months). The statistically significant differences in treatment outcomes in both groups were in favor of myotomy during 2-year follow-up.
Conclusions: The data indicates that both methods of treatment might be useful in dysphagia control, but better results are obtained after myotomy. Repeat interventions are more frequent after endoscopic dilation. One method of treatment does not exclude the other. A short period of symptom relief after myotomy may suggest the myotomy was incomplete.

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