All available treatments for achalasia are palliative and aimed to eliminate the flow resistance caused by a hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter.
To analyze the positive and negative prognostic factors in the improvement of dysphagia and to evaluate quality of life in patients undergoing surgery to treat esophageal achalasia by comparing findings before, immediately after, and in long follow-up.
A total of 84 patients who underwent surgery for achalasia between 2001 and 2014 were retrospectively studied. The evaluation protocol with dysphagia scores compared preoperative, immediate (up to three months) postoperative and late (over one year) postoperative scores to estimate quality of life.
The surgical procedure was Heller-Dor in 100% of cases, with 84 cases performed laparoscopically. The percent reduction in pre- and immediate postoperative lower esophageal sphincter pressurewas 60.35% in the success group and 32.49% in the failure group. Regarding the late postoperative period, the mean percent decrease was 60.15% in the success group and 31.4% in the failure group. The mean overall drop in dysphagia score between the pre- and immediate postoperative periods was 7.33 points, which represents a decrease of 81.17%.
Reduction greater than 60% percent in lower esophageal sphincter pressurebetween the pre- and postoperative periods suggests that this metric is a predictor of good prognosis for surgical response. Surgical treatment was able to have a good affect in quality of life and drastically changed dysphagia over time.
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