What is a Myotomy?

Garry Crystal

Myotomy is any surgical procedure in which muscle is cut. A common example is a procedure known as Heller myotomy. This operation is used to treat achalasia, a condition in which the cardia is unable to relax properly and the sufferer is unable to swallow liquids or food.

Heller myotomy is a surgical procedure for esophageal achalasia.
Heller myotomy is a surgical procedure for esophageal achalasia.

First suggested in 1913, Heller myotomy was performed using an open procedure called thoracotomy. This procedure was risky and had a very long recuperation time. The more modern form is performed using minimal laparoscopic techniques, otherwise known as keyhole surgery. These speed recovery and greatly reduce risks.

A patient is usually given general anesthesia before a myotomy.
A patient is usually given general anesthesia before a myotomy.

Get started

Want to automatically save money while you shop online?

Join 3 million Wikibuy users who have found 
$70 million in savings over the last year.

Wikibuy compensates us when you install Wikibuy using the links we provided.

Heller myotomy is performed by cutting the muscles of the cardia, the lower esophageal sphincter. This allows food and liquids to pass through to the stomach. Before the procedure, the patient is given a general anesthesia to make sure they are not awake during the surgery.

Like other laparoscopic surgeries, a Heller myotomy uses only small incisions for improved recovery time.
Like other laparoscopic surgeries, a Heller myotomy uses only small incisions for improved recovery time.

Five or six small incisions are made to the abdominal wall. A laparoscope is then inserted into the stomach area. If there are no complications during the surgery, patients will be able to start taking liquid the same day. They will be able to start eating solid food within two to three days.

Heavy lifting should be avoided for 8 weeks after myotomy procedures.
Heavy lifting should be avoided for 8 weeks after myotomy procedures.

A patient undergoing this surgery may be in the hospital for two to three days. Within a week, they should be able to return to work. If their work involves heavy lifting or strenuous exercise, then the patient may be advised to refrain from such activity for around eight weeks.

A myotomy is done when the cardia is unable to relax properly and allow swallowed food to pass into the stomach.
A myotomy is done when the cardia is unable to relax properly and allow swallowed food to pass into the stomach.

Heller myotomy is considered to be a long-term option. Most patients who undergo it do not require any further treatment. The operation does not permanently correct the underlying cause of achalasia, and the condition will not disappear altogether. It does, however, give patients a greatly improved ability to eat food and drink liquids.

A heller myotomy is performed on the lower esophageal sphincter to help allow foods to pass without allows acid to come back up the esophagus.
A heller myotomy is performed on the lower esophageal sphincter to help allow foods to pass without allows acid to come back up the esophagus.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

kittycat1234

will this surgery help with someone who has nutcracker esophagus?

anon17182

I am 14 years old and I have to get this surgery done. I am going to be playing basketball during the time that I have to get the surgery. Would it affect me playing basketball, or would I have to not play for a while?

captpfitz

what is the age limit on a myotomy? My mother is 83 would she be a candidate?

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: