The aim of treatment is to allow food to pass through more easily, using medication, balloon dilation, surgery or endoscopic treatment (Botulinum toxin injection). Occasionally, medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrate-based compounds will help relieve symptoms of achalasia, but these treatments are generally ineffective in most patients.
Balloon Pneumatic dilation involves the insertion of an inflatable balloon down the esophagus to the sphincter, where it is inflated to force the sphincter open. This is effective in about 70-80% of patients but multiple sessions are often required, there is the risk of esophageal perforation.
The surgery to relieve achalasia is called an esophageal myotomy after which about 80-85% of patients experience long-term relief. This involves dividing the muscularis of the upper stomach and the lower esophagus.
Nutrition plays an important role prior to, and in conjunction with, these procedures. A dietitian will most likely recommend foods or liquids that are calorie dense and easily swallowed.
Achalasia is an uncommon disorder of the esophagus that your physician may treat with any treatment options which previously mentioned base on the individual patient.