Geriatric patients with existing studies on the safety and efficacy of peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) for achalasia involve small sample sizes and single institutions. However, multi-center, large-scale data analyses are lacking. The study aimed to clarify the characteristics of geriatric patients with esophageal motility disorders (EMDs) and determine the procedure-related outcomes and clinical course following POEM. This cohort study included 2,735 patients with EMDs who were treated at seven Japanese facilities between 2010 and 2019. The patients’ characteristics and post-POEM clinical courses were compared between the geriatric (age ≥ 75 years; n = 321) and non-geriatric (age < 75 years; n = 2,414) groups. Compared with the non-geriatric group, the geriatric group had higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status scores; more recurrent cases; lower incidence of chest pain; and higher incidence of type III achalasia, distal esophageal spasm, and Jackhammer esophagus. Furthermore, the incidence of sigmoid esophagus was higher, although esophageal dilation was not severe in this group. POEM was safe and effective for geriatric patients with treatment-naïve and recurrent EMDs. Furthermore, compared with the non-geriatric group, the geriatric group had lower post-POEM Eckardt scores, fewer complaints of refractory chest pain, and a lower incidence rate of post-POEM reflux esophagitis. Geriatric patients are characterized by worse clinical conditions, more spastic disorders, and greater disease progression of EMDs, which are also the indications for minimally invasive POEM. POEM is more beneficial in geriatric patients as it has lowering symptom scores and incidence rates of reflux esophagitis.
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