Should I get the surgery? Second thoughts about Hellers myotomy with fundoplication

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I have been offered a Hellers myotomy with fundoplication and I'm terrified. I don't know it if is the best option, it's certainly the most extreme. I suffer no pain from my achalasia. I simply can't swallow food well. It all sits at the bottom of my eosophagus and falls out of my mouth if I lean forward after a meal. Drinking water helps, but most liquids don't pass through my tight sphincter. It's in the early stages right now, the doctor says I am still young and this will progressively get worse.

Has anyone had both the hellers and fundoplication? Did it work long term? Am I better off living with my condition? 


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  • Posted

    I completely understand how terrified you are because I feel the same way.  In fact, I've put off surgery for a few years, attempting all kinds of alternative treatments.  While I think these treatments can be helpful, they do not stop the disease process.  I recently had another image of my esophagus taken (barium x-ray) and my esophagus is now moderately dilated (stretched out) which is not optimal for treatment prognosis. The more stretched out it gets, due to food and liquids sitting in there, the less effective the treatments.  Therefore, you may want to get a procedure done sooner rather than later.  Have you looked into the POEM surgery?  It is less invasive than the Heller/Fundoplication surgery and recovery is quicker and easier.  I'm scheduled to have mine later this month (Still terrified, but biting the bullet, and feeling a bit less scared than with the bigger surgery).  Of course, you should realize, that the Heller is laproscopic which is still considered "minimally invasive" so not as bad as an open surgery.  The POEM does not come with a fundoplication (wrap) so you have to consider what you want.  Some people believe that POEM comes with more gastric reflux post surgery than the Heller which has the wrap but that is also controversial.  You may want to join one of the Achalasia Facebook groups online.  There you will find a community of other people who have Achalasia and can provide you with more opinions as well as being part of a caring community who "get it", a hard thing for us since it is such a rare disease.    I wish all the best to you as you inform yourself and make difficult decisions.  You are not alone!

  • Posted

    Hi I had the myotomy 30 yes ago it helped greatly but I was never free of symptoms my life was a lot easier I learn how to cope. I am so glad I HD the operation. Only the open surgery was available then so it was a big deal. However over last few years my symptoms have got worse taking me to visit a consultant leading to 3 dilutions I have had 2 up to now and the difference has been vast I'm eating so well and have started to put weight on.I am due for my third dilation in August.the only problem this time I have had a cough since my last dilation last week , though no indigestion this time.hoping my cough clears anxiety I can enjoy the food on my holiday .from my experience I would say go for the proved to me there is life after achalasia diagnosis. It can be managed good luck MazMaz

  • Posted

    Can you define to yourself what your fear is?  Is it about submitting to surgery when you do not know what the result will be?  Do you trust what the surgeon says?  80%+ of people having this procedure have a good outcome.  Or is it a fear of growing older with this  debilitating condition?  It is very likely to get worse as years go by, and if your oesophagus gets 'baggy' the chances of the surgery being successful diminish, and then you may have lost this opportunity regaining some quality of life.  

    ?In any event, you will need to try and avoid stress and tension because these tend to make the condition worse, both before and after surgery.

    ?I am sorry nobody can make this diagnosis disappear for you, and it is perfectly natural and healthy to grieve for your loss of full health, but the next best thing is to follow the specialist's advice.

  • Posted

    Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy along with fundoplication for Achalasia Cardia is

    empirical solution (Not Option) for longer time than other option. you must undergo this surgery. Repetate panic attacks may worsen your peristaltic movement, so do not panic

    All the best


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