Achalasia: History

  • Rafael M. Laurino Neto
  • Fernando A. M. HerbellaEmail author


The first treatment for achalasia was a forceful dilatation of the cardia using a whale bone. The method of cardia dilatation eventually evolved to intraoperative dilatations until it reached the more elegant use of pneumatic balloons, currently in use. Ingenious operations were created to treat the disease until Heller proposed his double myotomy, which eventually evolved to a single myotomy associated to a fundoplication. Today it is currently accepted that all achalasia patients in good clinical condition should undergo pneumatic dilatation, laparoscopic Heller myotomy, or per-oral esophageal myotomy.


Esophageal achalasia History of achalasia Botulinum toxin Pneumatic dilatation Laparoscopic Heller myotomy Per-oral endoscopic myotomy Esophagectomy 


Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael M. Laurino Neto
    • 1
  • Fernando A. M. Herbella
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Escola Paulista de MedicinaFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Gastrointestinal Surgery – Esophagus and Stomach Division, Department of Surgery, Escola Paulista de MedicinaFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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