What is achalasia? What are the symptoms of achalasia?

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Assoc. Dr. Erdem Akbal explained the development, symptoms and treatment of the disease.

Achalasia is a disease that causes abnormal functioning of the muscles in the esophagus, and the cause of the damage caused by nerve cells is completely unknown. In the disease, there is no regular muscle contractions that are normally required in the esophagus to push food into the stomach, thickening of muscles, abnormal pressure increase in the esophagus and esophagus-gastric junction, and relaxation disorder. Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital, Department of gastroenterology, Assoc. Dr. Erdem Akbal, the food pushed into the stomach is forced to push into the stomach and deteriorates in the transition to the esophagus, he points out.

How does achalazia develop? 
Although the disease is a slowly progressing disease, the rate of progression of the disease may vary from person to person. Although it is more common in young adult and middle age group, it can be seen in all age groups.

What are the symptoms of achalasia? 
Difficulty in swallowing after eating is the most important finding. Foods in the chest, plugging and clogging, chest discomfort, food coming back from the mouth, lung infections as a result of esophagus, bad breath and chest pain may be. Since complaints are similar to reflux disease, sometimes there may be delays in diagnosis. The majority of patients with achalasia are treated for long-term reflux. Therefore, in addition to other findings, it is necessary to consider achalasia disease in patients who do not respond to reflux therapy.

Can achalasia disease be treated by endoscopic method? 
The most advanced endoscopic treatment methods in the world are now successfully applied in our country. In our center, endoscopic applications are performed by using advanced endoscopic systems without requiring surgery in achalasia. Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) is the endoscopic method in achalasia.

What is the POEM method in the treatment of achalasia? 
Today, it is the most effective method for the treatment of achalasia. Firstly, it is developed by Japanese, POEM method applied in the center of the world with the normal endoscopy is done by entering through the mouth as the problematic muscles of the esophagus is cut. The muscles affected by achalasia disease in the esophagus can be intervened endoscopically and the patient is allowed to eat again.

Since the process is done endoscopically, there are no incision marks in the body and discharge is provided in a short time. One day after the POEM procedure lasting about 1-1.5 hours, patients start eating and are discharged on the 2nd day.

Can POEM be applied to patients who have previously undergone balloon-botox / surgery? 
The POEM method is also used safely in patients who have previously been treated with balloon, who have undergone a botox treatment, who have undergone botox treatment, but whose complaints have not regressed or have been re-established.

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