Marengo CIMS Hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services and fostering patient well-being. As part of our commitment to patient education, we have developed the Marengo CIMS Hospital Medical Encyclopedia—an invaluable online resource designed to empower patients with knowledge about various medical conditions, treatments, and preventive measures. This encyclopedia serves as a trusted and accessible repository of medical information, allowing patients to make informed decisions regarding their health and collaborate more effectively with healthcare professionals.

Introduction :

Achalasia is a rare swallowing disorder that affects individuals worldwide, including a considerable number in India. With its diverse population and cultural nuances, India poses unique challenges in diagnosing and managing achalasia.

Signs and Symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of achalasia may vary among individuals. Common indications of achalasia include difficulty swallowing, especially with solid foods, regurgitation of undigested food or saliva, chest pain or discomfort, weight loss, heartburn, and a chronic cough. These symptoms often worsen over time and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life.

What Is Achalasia?
Achalasia is a rare esophageal motility disorder characterized by the inability of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax properly, leading to difficulties in swallowing food and liquids. This condition occurs due to a disruption in the nerve cells that control the peristaltic movements of the esophagus and the relaxation of the LES.

How Is Achalasia Classified?
Achalasia can be classified into three main types:

1. Classic Achalasia: This is the most common type of achalasia, characterized by impaired relaxation of the LES and absent or weak peristaltic contractions in the esophagus.

2. Variant Achalasia: Variant or atypical achalasia exhibits similar symptoms to classic achalasia but may have additional features, such as spastic contractions or excessive esophageal contractions.

3. Chagas Disease-Related Achalasia: Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, can lead to achalasia. This type of achalasia is prevalent in certain regions of India where Chagas disease is endemic.

Causes and Triggers:
The exact cause of achalasia is unknown, but several factors may contribute to its development. It is believed to result from a combination of genetic predisposition, autoimmune reactions, and nerve damage in the esophagus. In India, Chagas disease, which is transmitted by the kissing bug, is one of the potential triggers for achalasia in certain regions.

Risk Factors with Examples:
While achalasia can affect individuals of all ages, certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing the condition. Examples of risk factors for achalasia in India include:

1. Chagas Disease: Individuals living in regions of India where Chagas disease is endemic, such as certain rural areas, may be at higher risk of developing achalasia.

2. Family History: A family history of achalasia or other esophageal disorders can predispose individuals to the condition. Genetic factors may play a role in the development of achalasia.

3. Autoimmune Disorders: Certain autoimmune conditions, such as systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), increase the risk of developing achalasia.

Types of Achalasia:

1. Type I Achalasia (Classic Achalasia): This type is characterized by the absence of peristaltic contractions and impaired LES relaxation. In Type I Achalasia, the muscles of the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach) do not work properly. Specifically, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a ring of muscles that allows food to enter the stomach, does not relax properly. This makes it difficult for food to pass into the stomach, leading to swallowing difficulties. In Type I Achalasia, there is also a lack of normal squeezing movements (peristalsis) in the esophagus.

2. Type II Achalasia (Pan-Esophageal Pressurization): Type II Achalasia exhibits pressurization of the esophagus with simultaneous contractions instead of the normal peristaltic movements.Type II Achalasia is similar to Type I, but it has some additional features. In this type, the esophagus becomes pressurized with simultaneous contractions instead of the normal squeezing movements. This means that the esophagus contracts in multiple places at the same time, which further hinders the movement of food into the stomach.

3. Type III Achalasia (Spastic Achalasia): Type III Achalasia is marked by repetitive spastic contractions in the esophagus with impaired LES relaxation. Type III Achalasia is characterized by repetitive spastic contractions in the esophagus. These spastic contractions are abnormal and cause a squeezing or tightening sensation. Like in Type I and II, the LES also does not relax properly in Type III Achalasia.

Diagnostic Tests and Treatments:

Diagnostic Tests for Achalasia:

1. Barium Swallow Test: This imaging test involves swallowing a contrast material (barium) while X-rays are taken. It helps visualize the esophagus and detect abnormalities in its structure and function.

2. High-resolution Esophageal Manometry: This test measures the pressure and coordination of muscle contractions in the esophagus and LES. It helps diagnose achalasia and determine the type and severity of the condition.

Treatments for Achalasia:

1. Balloon Dilation (Pneumatic Dilatation): This procedure involves inserting a deflated balloon into the LES and inflating it to stretch and widen the narrowed passage, improving swallowing.

2. Surgical Myotomy: In a surgical myotomy, the LES is surgically cut or partially removed to relieve the obstruction and improve esophageal emptying. This can be performed through open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery.

Complications of Achalasia:
If left untreated or unmanaged, achalasia can lead to several complications, including esophageal dilation, food impaction, aspiration pneumonia, weight loss, and malnutrition. In rare cases, a condition called esophageal cancer may develop.

Prevention Techniques:
While there are no specific prevention techniques for achalasia, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help manage the condition and prevent complications. Regular check-ups, especially for individuals with a family history of achalasia or related disorders, can aid in early detection and intervention.

Marengo Asia Hospitals, renowned healthcare institutions in India, are at the forefront of providing comprehensive medical services, including specialized care for patients with Achalasia. With their state-of-the-art facilities, experienced medical professionals, and patient-centered approach, Marengo Asia Hospitals are well-equipped to handle the unique challenges of managing Achalasia. In this article, we will explore the specialized care and services offered by Marengo Asia Hospitals for patients with Achalasia, ensuring optimal treatment outcomes and improved quality of life.

1. Expert Gastroenterologists and Surgeons:
Marengo Asia Hospitals across India house a team of highly skilled gastroenterologists and surgeons specializing in digestive disorders. These experts have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating achalasia, ensuring that patients receive accurate assessments and personalized care. Their expertise covers the full spectrum of achalasia management, from initial evaluation to advanced treatment options.

2. State-of-the-Art Diagnostic Tools:
Marengo Asia Hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools that aid in the accurate assessment and diagnosis of achalasia. These tools include high-resolution esophageal manometry and barium swallow tests. High-resolution esophageal manometry measures the pressure and coordination of muscle contractions in the esophagus and helps diagnose achalasia. Barium swallow tests involve the use of contrast material to visualize the esophagus and detect abnormalities in its structure and function.

3. Specialized Treatment Options:
Marengo Asia Hospitals offer a range of specialized treatment options for achalasia, catering to the unique needs of each patient. These treatments may include:

  • Balloon Dilation (Pneumatic Dilatation): This procedure involves the insertion of a deflated balloon into the narrowed lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and inflating it to stretch and widen the passage. Balloon dilation helps improve swallowing function by reducing the resistance in the LES.
  • Surgical Myotomy: Surgical myotomy is a surgical procedure where the LES is cut or partially removed to relieve the obstruction and allow easier passage of food. This procedure can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery, which offer faster recovery and reduced post-operative complications.

4. Multidisciplinary Approach:
Marengo Asia Hospitals follow a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Gastroenterologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals work together seamlessly to provide comprehensive and integrated achalasia management. This collaborative approach ensures that patients receive individualized treatment plans based on their specific condition and medical history.

      5. Rehabilitation and Nutritional Support:
      Marengo Asia Hospitals recognize the importance of post-treatment care and nutritional support for achalasia patients. They provide rehabilitation programs that focus on optimizing swallowing techniques and offer guidance on dietary modifications to ensure adequate nutrition. Rehabilitation and nutritional support play a vital role in helping patients adjust to the changes in their swallowing function and improve their overall well-being.

      6. Ongoing Support and Follow-up Care:
      Marengo Asia Hospitals prioritize long-term support and follow-up care for achalasia patients. Regular check-ups and follow-up appointments allow doctors to monitor treatment effectiveness, assess symptom improvement, and provide guidance on managing any complications or challenges that may arise. This comprehensive approach ensures that patients receive continuous care and support throughout their achalasia journey.


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      Marengo CIMS Hospital
      Off Science City Road, Sola, Ahmedabad – 380060
      Gujarat, INDIA

      24×7 Helpline +91 70 69 00 00 00
      Phone: 079 4805 1200 or 1008
      +91 79 2771 2771 or 72
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