Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy
If you suffer from achalasia, you know it can be difficult, or even impossible, to swallow food. This is because the esophagus does not contract normally, and the sphincter muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach does not relax properly. This blocks the passage of food through the esophagus and then into the stomach.
Traditional treatments have been:
- Pneumatic balloon dilation
- Botox injection, which provides only temporary relief
- Heller’s myotomy – in which a chest surgeon cuts the sphincter muscle at the lower end of the esophagus
POEM is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure that is less painful and offers quicker recovery. Even more importantly, it is also showing a very high and long-lasting rate of success.
In this procedure, our highly skilled team navigates an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera) through the wall of the esophagus using advanced techniques and makes a tunnel. Following this, the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus is cut, which then allows the food to empty more easily into the stomach.
Typically, you are required to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days after the procedure. Before you are discharged, we will also perform a swallow study with X-ray to ensure your esophagus is performing as intended.