Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

Comment from: Steve, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

I started having swallowing problems about five years ago, mostly pain and pressure in the chest. I was initially diagnosed with GERD, but went to a different doctor and was properly diagnosed with achalasia. I had the Botox and had immediate improvement. As you know, however, that treatment is only temporary. I had a myotomy in May, 2013, and the results have been fantastic. My weight went from 98 to 128. No issues really. I am very happy I had it. I had the VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) procedure and spent three days in the hospital and a few weeks to fully recover. I went back to work in a week. Have the surgery, it is well worth it.

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Comment from: jan scoatt, 65-74 (Patient) Published: December 30

I have suffered from achalasia since I was a small child although I was not diagnosed until I was in my 40s. By then so much damage had been done that it was hard to control my symptoms. I had the dilation by balloon and it split my esophagus and I spent 4 weeks in the hospital. After that it was just treating the symptoms. Three years ago, I had the Heller surgery. It was really bad and my recovery time was horrible but after that I felt so much better for about a year. Now we are back to square one. I know I am at the end stage of my disease as well. I am currently 88 pounds and also have COPD. This disease is horrible and if not caught early can make your life miserable and eventually end it. I wish good luck to all of you who are contending with it.

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Comment from: Jess, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I recently had surgery for achalasia after having to go through several medical examinations during a period of 2 years. I had the POEM procedure (per-oral endoscopic myotomy) and recovered quickly, I could eat solid food the day after surgery. I am extremely happy with the results although my chest pains I suffered from previous to the surgery have gotten worse. I'm not sure what can be done to help the pain. Other than that I sleep without problems unlike before, when I had to sleep with several pillows under my head in order to not wake up because I needed to cough up the saliva running in my throat. Further I have no problem with refluxes or similar.

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Comment from: Maz1953, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I was diagnosed with achalasia 31 years ago. I was also treated with operation to bypass my gullet. This helped a great deal but I have to say by no means did my symptoms disappear. I learnt to live with it and learnt how to cope. Stress definitely brings it on. Also some foods aggravate it, usually over indulgence of treats like cream and chocolate. After all these years I have realized tea is one of the worst offenders. The operation definitely was a great improvement on my life. I would advise anyone to go for it but don't expect a full cure.

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Comment from: Ruthbug11, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

Around the age of 15, I started having issues swallowing. I felt like I had air bubbles and as time progressed I was increasingly unable to get anything down. Bread was one of the worst things. My small town doctor had no idea what was wrong and my parents were getting more and more concerned. I would have troubles getting even liquids to go down, oftentimes coughing up whatever I had eaten/drank. The doctor told me at that point in time (almost 20 years ago) this was seen most often in teenage girls who had had chicken pox. I started getting Botox injections, but they wore off after 2 to 3 years. I ended up having the surgery for achalasia 12 years ago and have been doing well ever since.

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Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

My bout of achalasia started about a year ago. I started out by not being able to keep any food down, and vomiting after eating. I also would have a lot of phlegm after eating. After vomiting I would have to blow my nose a lot. I have since had to change my diet, only soft foods, (I would love a steak, salad and chocolate milkshake!) and I've had to stay away from meats, leafy vegetables, and creamy items, i.e., milk, sauces. I have had every test under the sun done, and I have been diagnosed with achalasia. I just found out after my last test I will be able to have the surgery to correct it.

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Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

I have suffered for 30 years with achalasia. I've had 4 stretching, a balloon procedure that did nothing, then Heller myotomy. Doctor could not put a flap, so every night I vomit, regardless if I'm sitting straight up. I vomit with soft food or hard food, sometimes water. The past year I stopped all onion or garlic in cooking, those seem to make it really hard at night with heartburn. It is a horrible disease.

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Patient Comments

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Achalasia - Causes Question: What was the cause of your achalasia?
Achalasia - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your achalasia?
Achalasia - Treatment Question: What treatment was effective for your achalasia?

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