Publisher: Kenneth Kee
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Binding: Kobo eBook
Achalasia is a swallowing disorder of motility of the lower esophageal or cardiac sphincter.
The smooth muscle layer of the esophagus has decreased peristalsis and inability of the sphincter to relax produces a functional stricture or functional esophageal stenosis.
The tube that brings food from the mouth to the stomach is the esophagus.
Achalasia makes it harder for the esophagus to move food into the stomach.
Achalasia is a serious condition that affects the esophagus.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a valve that blocks off the esophagus from the stomach.
If the patient has achalasia, the LES is unable to open up during swallowing, which it is supposed to do.
This results in a backup of food within the esophagus.
This disorder may be inherited, or it may be the effect of an autoimmune disorder, which happens when the body’s immune system wrongly attacks healthy cells in the body.
The degeneration of nerves in the esophagus often adds to the advanced symptoms of the condition.
The most frequent presenting symptom is dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing).
This involves the swallowing of solids more than soft food or liquids.
People with achalasia will often have problem swallowing or a sensation of food being stuck in their esophagus.
This symptom can produce coughing and increases the risk of aspiration, or inhaling or choking on food.
Regurgitation may happen in 80-90% and some patients learn to force it to alleviate pain.
Chest pain, which may become worse after eating, or may be felt as pain in the back, neck, and arms
The barium swallow in achalasia is typical.
The distal esophagus has a narrow segment and the X-ray image looks like a bird's beak.
This is different to the rat's tail appearance of carcinoma of the esophagus.
Manometry is the gold standard test for diagnosis of achalasia and can diagnose up to 90% of patients.
The doctor ...