Achalasia

The thoracic surgeons at Yale offer their expertise in dealing with special conditions of the esophagus, such as achalasia. Achalasia is a unique condition of the esophagus that is associated with the failure of the valve at the end of the esophagus (leading into the stomach) to relax and poor coordination of the esophageal muscle throughout the length of the esophagus. The exact cause of achalasia in North America remains unclear. Patients with achalasia usually present with difficulty swallowing, particularly with the passage of undigested food from the esophagus into the stomach. Treatment of this condition typically involves a laparoscopic (rarely open) approach to release the constricting muscle fibers at the valve located between the esophagus and the stomach. Sometimes a partial wrap (fundoplication) is added to the procedure to reconstruct a lesser constrictive valve to prevent reflux. This additional procedure depends upon the interpretation of the tests evaluated by the thoracic surgeons.

As faculty of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Surgery, our nationally and internationally renowned surgeons are continually redefining standards of care through their comprehensive skill, innovative procedures, ongoing research, and the application of evidence-based medicine.

The thoracic surgery practice encompasses all aspects of your total esophageal health, including diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. To assure a comprehensive treatment approach, our surgeons work as part of a multidisciplinary team at Yale, composed of other nationally and internationally recognized experts in esophageal disease. By collectively reviewing your entire case, our multidisciplinary team can determine the best diagnostic and treatment options for you. 

Our surgeons are highly skilled at performing even the most advanced surgical techniques for both common and complex conditions. At Yale Thoracic Surgery, we know that the surgical process can feel intimidating, which is why our surgeons will walk you through the process, step by step, so that you understand the procedure and feel comfortable with your treatment options.