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Heller myotomy is a surgical procedure in which the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter or “LES” are cut, allowing food and liquids to pass to the stomach. It is used to treat “achalasia” which is a rare disorder of the smooth muscle of the esophagus, the food pipe leading from your mouth to your stomach. Where your esophagus meets your stomach there is a ring-like “gateway” muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).Heller Myotomy

Normally, when you’re not swallowing, the LES stays closed to keep food, liquid and stomach acid from flowing back up into your esophagus. When you do swallow, nerve signals tell the muscles of the esophagus to contract and push food down its tube (an action called peristalsis); these same signals tell the LES to open. If you have achalasia, the nerve cells in the lower esophageal and the LES don’t work properly. A Heller myotomy can be performed through minimally invasive techniques, robotically or laparoscopically. Ask your surgeon if you are a candidate.

After Heller Myotomy

Patients having Heller Myotomy typically stay in the hospital 1-2 days. They have a small tube in their nose draining fluid and gas from your stomach. When the tube is removed (usually same day or surgery if early or the next day), the patient is then started on liquids. They usually have a PCA for pain which is transitioned to oral pain m=medications when the tube is removed. Patients are encouraged to be out of bed and walk as much as possible. Patients will follow a specific diet after a Heller myotomy which will be provided by the surgeon.