Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) that leads to difficulty swallowing. Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscular ring where the esophagus and stomach come together, relaxes during swallowing. But with achalasia of the esophagus, the sphincter does not relax, making it difficult for food to pass from the esophagus into the stomach. In addition, the smooth muscles of the esophagus do not function properly to move the food down the esophagus.
Achalasia can occur on its own or as a secondary condition to certain diseases, such as cancer.
At Yale Bariatric/Gastrointestinal Surgery, our innovative surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures, many of which are at the leading edge of gastrointestinal surgery, to treat achalasia. Our multidisciplinary team works collectively to create personalized treatment plans that provide the best options for each patient, reflecting his or her specific condition and individual needs.