Using Impedance Planimetry (EndoFLIP) to Evaluate Myotomy and Predict Outcomes After Surgery for Achalasia

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The functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) is an innovative tool that uses impedance planimetry to assess esophageal geometry in real time. It has been used to diagnose achalasia and evaluate treatment failure after laparoscopic Heller myotomy (LHM) and peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM). We hypothesize that impedance planimetry can be utilized intra-operatively to assess adequacy of myotomy and assist in predicting patient outcomes.


A prospectively maintained patient database at a single center was queried. Seventy-seven patients with achalasia underwent POEM or LHM by a single surgeon. The FLIP was used to measure cross-sectional area (CSA), minimum diameter (Dmin), balloon pressure, and distensibility index (DI) of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) before and after the procedure. Clinical outcomes were measured up to 2 years after treatment.


Post-operative CSA, Dmin, balloon pressure, and DI values were significantly different from pre-operative values (p < 0.001). Patients with a post-operative Eckardt score ≥ 3 were significantly more likely to have a final DI ≤ 3.1 mm2/mmHg (p = 0.014) or a change in DI ≤ 3.0 mm2/mmHg (p = 0.010). Additionally, a final CSA > 96 mm2 or Dmin > 11.0 mm was predictive of worse reflux at 2 years (p = 0.01).


Impedance planimetry using the FLIP can offer intra-operative feedback about the geometry of the LES. The most useful parameters in predicting patient outcomes have yet to be clearly defined, but our results demonstrate that final DI and CSA are predictive of post-operative treatment response.

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Author information

Zachary Callahan provided contribution to the conception and critical revision of this work. Kristine Kuchta provided significant analysis and interpretation of the data. Stephanie Novak was instrumental in the acquisition of data. Michael Ujiki provided significant contribution to the design, concept and revision of this work. All authors have provided final approval of the version to be published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Correspondence to Bailey Su.

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Appropriate institutional review board approval was obtained.

Conflict of Interest

Bailey Su, Zachary M. Callahan, Stephanie Novak, and Kristine Kuchta have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Michael B. Ujiki receives speaker honorarium from Medtronic.

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Presented as a Quickshot Oral Presentation at the 2019 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting in San Diego, CA.

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Su, B., Callahan, Z.M., Novak, S. et al. Using Impedance Planimetry (EndoFLIP) to Evaluate Myotomy and Predict Outcomes After Surgery for Achalasia. J Gastrointest Surg (2020).

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  • Achalasia
  • POEM
  • EndoFLIP™
  • Impedance planimetry