Background: Achalasia is a rare disorder with less than 5% of patients diagnosed in childhood. Although Heller esophagocardiomyotomy is a proven intervention, incomplete myotomy can lead to clinical failure. Intraoperative esophageal manometry has been used to ensure adequacy of myotomies in adults. The purpose of the present study was to review our experience in the management of children with achalasia. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted on the medical records of patients with achalasia diagnosed between November 1999 and March 2007. Patient demographics and interventions were recorded. Outcomes after surgical intervention and esophageal dilation were assessed. Mean follow-up was 3.5 ± 0.6 years. Intraoperative manometry was used over the past 3 years. Results: Nineteen patients were treated for achalasia. The average age at diagnosis was 13.8 ± 0.8 years. Most patients underwent esophageal dilation (14/19), receiving on average 2.1 ± 0.3 dilations. One patient experienced a contained perforation that was treated conservatively. Eleven patients underwent myotomy, as primary therapy (n = 5) or after recurrence of symptoms after dilation (n = 6). Six patients underwent intraoperative manometry. More patients who underwent Heller myotomy without intraoperative manometry had recurrence of symptoms (80% vs 0%, P < .05). Conclusion: Inadequate myotomy is a potential cause for recurrent symptoms after esophagocardiomyotomy in childhood achalasia. Intraoperative esophageal manometry is a safe technique that may improve the success rate of surgery by confirming the adequacy of myotomy thereby decreasing recurrence of symptoms.
- Achalasia in children
- Heller myotomy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health