Early and long-term results of pneumatic dilation in the treatment of oesophageal achalasia

Antonio Cusumano, Luigi Bonavina, Lorenzo Norberto, Marco Baessato, Paolo Borelli, Romeo Bardini, Alberto Peracchia

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Between 1967 and 1989, 60 patients underwent pneumatic dilation of the cardia at our institution. Of these, 33 had not undergone any previous treatment (group 1), whereas 27 presented with recurrent dysphagia after a failure of surgical treatment (group 2). In this series there was no procedure-related mortality and a perforation occurred only in 1 patient who was treated conservatively. The mean follow-up was similar in both groups (44 and 49 months, respectively). The results of pneumatic dilation were either excellent or good in 61% of group 1 patients, and in 76% of group 2 patients. Reflux oesophagitis requiring medical therapy occurred in 1 group 2 patient. We conclude that pneumatic dilation is a safe and relatively effective procedure in patients with achalasia. Patients with a failed Heller myotomy seem to respond better than patients without previous surgery. However, the risk of gastro-oesophageal reflux after pneumatic dilation should not be underestimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-10
Number of pages2
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1991



  • Achalasia
  • Oesophagomyotomy
  • Pneumatic dilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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