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I am 32 year old from Belfast in Northern Ireland and have recently been diagnosed with achalasia after over a year of going to see doctors and them telling me I had heartburn and generally saying there was nothing wrong with me! Eventually following 2 endoscopies and persistance with going back to the doctors and hassling them I was given a barium swallow and oesophageal manometry test which finally confirmed I had achalasia. My condition gradually worsened until I could hardly even swallow water and ended up in A&E dehydrated towards the end. I was then given the choice of having the surgery or balloon dilation. I chose the latter as had been through lung surgery (pleurectomy for collapsed lung) 2 years ago (also wondering if anyone else with achalasia has had this type of lung surgery - could this have even caused achalasia?).
I had the balloon dilation exactly 2 weeks ago to the day, under sedation and the whole thing was over really quickly, there was hardly any pain, just a sharp pain when they inflated the balloon and the usual discomfort with endoscopy. I have been able to eat anything I wanted to since the procedure without any problems (even pizza and burgers which is great and can drink a beer to wash it all down too - healthy stuff!). Only thing is I have heartburn a bit more (probably due to pizza, burgers and beer drinking!) but am taking zoton to counteract that, but that is nothing compared to not being able to swallow. I just hope the effects last a good while as have read from some of the emails on this website the balloon dilation doesn't last too long in some cases.
But after months of not being able to eat, painful swallowing, chest infections from inhaling food into my lungs, waking up choking from my sleep and losing weight I feel like a totally new person and it is so great to have this relief even if it only lasts for a short while.
[i:9a8931309a]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:9a8931309a]
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