Outcomes after minimally invasive esophagomyotomy

James D. Luketich, Hiran C. Fernando, Neil A. Christie, Percival O. Buenaventura, Robert J. Keenan, Sayeed Ikramuddin, Philip R. Schauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background. Thoracic surgeons traditionally performed thoracotomy and myotomy for achalasia. Recently minimally invasive approaches have been reported with good success. This report summarizes our single-institution experience using video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) or laparoscopy (LAP) for the treatment of achalasia. Methods. A review of 62 patients undergoing minimally invasive myotomy for achalasia was performed. There were 27 male and 35 female patients. Mean age was 53 years (range 14 to 86). Thirty-seven (59.7%) had failed prior treatments (balloon dilation, botulinim toxin injection, or prior surgery). Outcomes studied were dysphagia score (1 = none, 5 = severe), Short-Form 36 quality of life (SF36 QOL) score, and heartburn-related QOL index (HRQOL). Results. Surgery included myotomy and partial fundoplication (5 VATS and 57 LAP). Mortality was zero, and complications occurred in 9 (14.5%) patients. There were 6 perforations (4 repaired by LAP and 2 open). Median length of stay was 2 days, time to oral intake was 1 day. At a mean of 19 months follow-up, 92.5% of patients were satisfied with outcome. Dysphagia scores improved from 3.6 to 1.5 (p < 0.01) but 3 patients ultimately required esophagectomy for recurrent dysphagia. HRQOL scores for heartburn and SF-36 QOL scores were comparable with control populations. Conclusions. Minimally invasive myotomy and partial fundoplication for achalasia improved dysphagia in 92.5% of patients with heartburn and QOL scores were comparable with normal values at 19-month follow-up. The laparoscopic approach offers excellent results and was the preferred approach by our thoracic group for treating achalasia. Thoracic residency training should strive to include laparoscopic esophageal experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1909-1913
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


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