Achalasia

At Rush, our experts offer surgical and nonsurgical options to treat achalasia so you can make the best decision for your health.

At Rush, our experts offer surgical and nonsurgical options to treat achalasia so you can make the best decision for your health.

At Rush, our experts offer surgical and nonsurgical options to treat achalasia so you can make the best decision for your health.

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus that drastically limits your ability to move food and liquids through your esophagus to your stomach.

Signs You Should Get Help for Achalasia

You should see a doctor if your symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Backflow or regurgitation of food
  • Trouble swallowing fluids and solids
  • Chest pain, which may get worse after you eat and include pain in your back, neck or arms
  • Heartburn
  • Unintended weight loss

Achalasia Treatment at Rush

Our expert team will help you find the best options to relieve your symptoms so you can return to your normal eating habits and regain your strength.

Nonsurgical options: You may find relief with options such as medication or botulinum toxin injections (Botox) that relax muscles controlling your esophagus. Another option to ease your symptoms that doesn't require surgery is dilation to widen your esophagus.

Surgical options: If you need surgery, our team can provide reliable, proven procedures to improve your symptoms and quality of life, including the following:

  • Heller myotomy, which may be performed laparoscopically, to relieve tightness in your esophagus
  • Partial fundoplication, which can strengthen the opening at the bottom of your esophagus and help protect it from damage
  • Esophagectomy, which involves removal of the esophagus but only if you have very severe achalasia

Rush Excellence in Achalasia Care

  • Expertise focused on you: Our gastroenterologists welcome your questions and will help you find the best treatment to get you back to eating and drinking normally again. This patient-centered approach is one reason why U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center among the best in the nation for gastroenterology and GI surgery.
  • Minimally invasive options to speed recovery: Our surgeons routinely use small incisions to treat achalasia, when appropriate. This causes less pain and helps you recover more quickly.
  • Customized care to improve your quality of life: If you have difficulty swallowing, our specialists can help you develop a personalized plan to manage your symptoms.
  • Second opinion service to explore your options: Our physicians want to help you fully understand your choices for treating your achalasia so you can make the best decision about your care.
Testimonials

Seeing someone before surgery, during surgery and then afterward in my clinic, and just talking with them and seeing how life’s going ... is very exciting. I get to hear the personalized stories of the patient — the person I’ve gotten to know over the past weeks, months or even years.

Scott Schimpke, MD, Surgeon