Balloon dilation or Poem

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my swallowing problem started two years ago and about six months ago I was told that I have achalasia. My doctor recommended me a balloon dilation which I did two month ago. Through the procedure they stretched the muscles. It had no pain and I came home the same day. It didn't help me at all. My doctor says I need To repeat the procedure with a bigger balloon.He said he used a 30mm balloon and I need to redo the procedure with a 35mm balloon.  I dont want to do this again because the first one didnt work for me at all. i read about Poem and I am wondering if Poem is good? Does anyone here experience both.? do you konw which one is better? Should I go with the second balloon or just go for Poem? 

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Pkooh,

    Poem and Heller's are the best options where you aren't excluded from surgery.  The difference between them is that a Heller's myotomy slices the outside of the oesophagus so has a longer physical recovery than POEM, which does the 'slicing' on the inside of the oesophagus.

    Balloon dilatation has a lower long-term success rate, and is really a second option treatment used where surgery is not viable (eg age, heart condition causing issues with anaesthesia, chronic conditions etc).

    You should certainly ask your doctor why they are recommending dilatation instead of surgery.

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    • Posted

      Hi sskett, 

      Thank you for your feedback! My doctor didn't tell me anything about  Poem. I think I should change my doctor. I am so glad that I joined this group because I learned about Poem here. I didn't know anything about that. 

       

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  • Posted

    I have a question for those who had Poem or Heller. Are you experiencing any site effect after surgery? Like acid reflex? 
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    • Posted

      Hi I had the heller myotomy surgery and after 3 monthes my symptoms came back. This is a 3% rate and shouldn't happen to you as I am 13 and still growing which caused it. Heller is traditional and has been used longer than POEM so I would go with that (I was offered both but chose Heller for that reason). I always take a high acid reflux medication as it helps with chest pains so Im not sure how to reply to the acid reflux question.
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    • Posted

      I had Heller's + fundo about 18 months ago.

      Can eat normally, no reflux or regurgitation problems (or very rare at least). Still need to drink plenty of water to help get the food down. I get non-cardiac chest/back/jaw pain randomly as well, which is solved with drinking cold water - doesn't happen nearly as often as pre-op.

      I was 33 when I had the op. Had dysmotility of the oesophagus but no pressure problems at the lower sphincter, and no expansion/stretching of the oesophagus.

      Every case is different so there may be a good reason your Dr didn't suggest a surgery. It should be a specialist familiar with the condition that makes that recommendation, not a GP.

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