What is Achalasia?
At the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophagus sphincter (LES) regulates the opening to the stomach. When the LES works correctly, it opens when swallowing to allow food to pass into the stomach, then closes to keep stomach content from backflowing into the esophagus. Achalasia is a rare condition where the LES does not open or relax as needed to allow food from the esophagus to easily pass into the stomach. Danny Shouhed, M.D. offers achalasia surgery and treatment at our clinic in Los Angeles.
Causes and Symptoms of Achalasia
The exact cause of achalasia is not known. There are theories it can be caused by deterioration of the esophagus or due to complications from a virus. Achalasia can become worse over time, beginning with occasional issues pushing food through the small LES opening and progressing to difficulty swallowing or keeping food down. Patients with this disorder may begin compensating by eating slower or lifting the neck when swallowing to help with swallowing. Other symptoms of achalasia include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unintentional Weight loss
- Lump in throat
- Chest pain
Achalasia is uncommon and may be misdiagnosed by physicians who do not specialize in stomach and esophagus disorders. Dr. Shouhed is a board certified general surgeon who specializes in gastrointestinal conditions and treatment. Patients with symptoms of achalasia can receive an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan for achalasia at our clinic in West Hollywood. Treatment can include Botox® injections, medication, endoscopic balloon dilation or minimally-invasive surgery.
If you have difficulty swallowing or other symptoms of achalasia, contact the office of Danny Shouhed, M.D. in Los Angeles to schedule an appointment. We offer accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for achalasia to give you relief from your esophagus or LES disorder. Call us today to book your exam and consultation.