What are the possible complications of the Heller myotomy for treatment of esophageal motility disorders?

Updated: Dec 29, 2017
  • Author: Eric A Gaumnitz, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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The major postoperative complication of Heller myotomy is postmyotomy reflux. Reflux symptoms tend to be particularly severe due to aperistalsis in the esophageal body preventing proper acid clearance from the esophagus. Severe esophagitis, stricturing, and Barrett changes are observed in approximately 15% of patients postoperatively. Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus also is described.

Another significant complication is recurrent or persistent dysphagia, which is observed in 10-20% of patients postoperatively. Mortality is less than 0.2%.

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