Achalasia is a condition in which your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach, isn't able to move food into your stomach. Normally, the muscle at the bottom of your esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) opens and closes to help move food along. Achalasia causes this valve to stay closed, causing food to back up.
The condition mostly affects adults between 25 and 60 years old, but it can affect children.
The cause of achalasia is unknown. It doesn’t affect a particular sex, race, or ethnicity more than the general population. Researchers believe it could be related to nerve cell problems in the esophagus. People with achalasia have a slightly higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Symptoms of achalasia usually develop gradually. The most common symptom is difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and other symptoms may include:
- Chest pain that comes and goes
- Nighttime coughing
- Regurgitation of undigested food or liquid (reflux)
At the University of Miami Health System, we use a team approach to find the best treatment for you. Achalasia is often mistaken for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but our specialists are experienced at discovering and treating the disease. You can be confident you’re working with an experienced team.
Why Choose UHealth?
Fast, accurate diagnosis. We have the only motility lab in South Florida, which allows our GI specialists to provide accurate results faster. That means they can begin treatment right away, and you can feel better sooner.
Expert care for digestive conditions. Our digestive health experts care for a full range of conditions – from an upset stomach to colorectal cancer. As an academic medical center, we offer the latest, proven approaches backed by the leading-edge research of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
A comprehensive team. Digestive health specialists work as a team with dietitians, surgeons, and other specialists to ensure you get complete care. You work with a team that gives you individual attention and treatment that offers you the best possible results.
Leaders in robotic surgery treatment. We have some of the world’s most experienced robotic surgeons for minimally invasive procedures. We were the first academic medical center in the world to get the da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system. Our surgeons have completed more than 5,000 robotic surgeries — procedures that offer less pain and scarring and a faster recovery.
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