Heller myotomy for achalasia

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Need some feedback on this. My husband has just had this operation. I know this is very early days and he knows it is a long process on soft foods before having anything solid but even drinking water it seems to go down slowly. I expect this is because everything is sore and swollen and perhaps we are expecting too much. Any ones experience would be great.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    It might be the immediate aftermath of the surgery and things settling down.   I am presuming that your husband is sipping rather than gulping water.   The surgery aims to allow the system to work through gravity, and it is not unusual for things never to reach the natural swallowing function enjoyed by the average population, but he should notice significant improvement in time.   There is a natural anxiety and tension around whether and how well the surgery has worked, and this tension does not help matters.   The short answer, though, is to share your concerns with the surgeon as there may be particular details of the operation that would account for this.
    • Posted

      Having spoke to the consultant he was not too concerned how things were progressing but wants to see him in a few weeks as he may need a stretch- not sure exactly what this involves. But still only taking very small amounts of liquid and much being brought back up. Even for allowing for this being a long process, does not feel things are good. He also paid privately so somewhat worrying.
    • Posted

      A stretch involves inflating a balloon on an endoscope that gently stretches the sphincter valve open and helps food to pass through down into the stomach.   

      I am not sure how often a stretch is done after a Heller's myotomy, and how successful these are.   It might be worth asking for a second opinion, just to be on the safe side.

  • Posted

    Hi Susan, I agree with Alan. It takes time. I’m 6 months post opp. I’m able to eat most foods but since the normal function of the esophagus is not available, I eat small meals slowly and chew well. My quality of life is great again! I can eat! Have patience!

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