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J Pediatr Surg. 1985 Aug;20(4):333-8.

Achalasia in children: treatment by anterior esophageal myotomy (modified Heller operation).


Although rare in children, achalasia can be the cause of debilitating symptoms and growth retardation. During a 4-year period, six patients (mean age 9.9 years) underwent a modified Heller operation (anterior esophageal myotomy) without complication. A concomitant modified Belsey fundoplication was performed in three patients who were judged at the time of operation to be at high risk for postoperative gastroesophageal reflux. Preoperative symptoms of dysphagia, postprandial vomiting, retrosternal pain, and pulmonary complications were eliminated in all patients. Follow-up interviews seven to 48 months (mean 23 months) following operation revealed normal diet and normal growth in all six children, with no recurrence of preoperative symptoms or evidence of gastroesophageal reflux. Technical details which we believe contribute to success in the operative management of pediatric achalasia include the transthoracic approach and the selective performance of complementary anti-reflux procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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