Peroral endoscopic myotomy is highly effective for achalasia patients with recurrent symptoms after pneumatic dilatation



Previous interventions in achalasia such as pneumatic dilation (PD) might lead to difficulties with peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) along with sub-optimal outcomes. There are limited data in the literature on outcomes of POEM after PD, especially from the western hemisphere. Hence, we aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of POEM for recurrent symptoms after PD compared to treatment naïve achalasia patients.


Medical records of achalasia patients who underwent POEM at our institution between April 2014 and October 2019 were reviewed. Patients who had POEM for recurrent symptoms after prior PD were matched at 1:2 ratio with treatment naïve achalasia patients using propensity score matching. Patients who had prior Heller myotomy were excluded. Patient demographics, Eckardt scores, timed barium swallow (TBE), high-resolution esophageal manometry (HREM), and pH study findings were compared between the two groups, pre- and 2 months post-POEM. Treatment success was defined as reduction of Eckardt score to ≤ 3.


A total of 39 patients (prior PD = 13; treatment naïve = 26) were included. Patient demographics, procedural, and peri-procedural outcomes were similar in both groups. Treatment success was similar in both groups, 100.0% in prior PD vs 91.7% in treatment naïve group (p = 0.53). On adjusted analysis, there was no significant difference in the pre–post-POEM improvement in Eckardt scores, TBE, and HREM parameters in the two groups. Gastroesophageal reflux disease rates were also similar in both groups.


In achalasia with recurrent symptoms after PD, POEM is a safe and highly effective treatment modality. Prior PD does not seem to influence the outcomes or efficacy of POEM.

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This study was presented in the abstract form at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology at Philadelphia, PA, USA in October 2018.


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All authors have contributed to and approved the final version of the manuscript. All authors studied the concept and design of the study. RL performed the data analysis. All authors interpreted the results. GK and MP drafted the manuscript. All authors participated in critical revision of final of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Madhusudhan R. Sanaka.

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Dr. Sanaka, Dr. Khoudari, Dr. Parikh, Dr. Thota, Ms. Lopez, Dr. Gupta, Dr. Gabbard, Dr. Ray, Dr. Murthy, and Dr. Raja have no conflicts of interest and nothing to disclose.

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Sanaka, M.R., Khoudari, G., Parikh, M. et al. Peroral endoscopic myotomy is highly effective for achalasia patients with recurrent symptoms after pneumatic dilatation. Surg Endosc (2020).

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  • Peroral endoscopic myotomy
  • Pneumatic dilatation
  • Achalasia