Megaesophagus secondary to achalasia cardia is conventionally treated with esophagectomy. With the advent of minimal invasive surgery, laparoscopic Heller’s cardiomyotomy (LHCM) has been used in the management of megaesophagus. The authors hereby report our long-term results of 19 patients of megaesophagus managed with LHCM.
Prospectively collected data of 19 patients with megaesophagus were reviewed for symptomatic outcome using defined symptom scores and achalasia disease-specific quality of life (A-DsQol) after LHCM with an antireflux procedure. Follow-up was done with clinical visits and telephonic calls.
The mean age of the patients was 39.8 years with 7 female and 12 male individuals. The mean duration of symptoms was 105 months. Dysphagia was the predominant symptom followed by regurgitation and heartburn. A-DsQOL was poor with a mean of 58.6±8.11. Nine patients had extra respiratory symptoms. All patients underwent LHCM with an antireflux procedure with no conversion, intraoperative perforation, or mortality. At a median follow-up of 66 months (interquartile range, 24.5 to 80), there was a significant improvement of dysphagia, regurgitation, heartburn, and Eckardt scores from 2.26±1.14, 2.05±0.62, 1.0±0.67, and 7.21±2.22 to 0.21±0.53, 0.15±0.37, 0.42±0.61, and 0.57±2.06, respectively (P<0.001). One patient (5.2%) had a recurrence of dysphagia. Sixty-three percent of patients graded their satisfaction level as fully satisfied and 31% as better. A-DsQOL of life improved significantly (P<0.001) after surgery. The respiratory symptoms improved in all.
LHCM provides durable relief of symptoms in patients with megaesophagus and may be considered as the first-line treatment option in such patients.