American Family Children's Hospital

Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy for Achalasia


Robotic Surgery


Health Information


UW Health surgeons at UW Hospital and Clinics perform laparoscopic esophageal (Heller) myotomy for patients with achalasia. Achalasia is a condition which prevents the muscle at the end of the esophagus from properly relaxing during swallowing. People with achalasia have difficulty swallowing their food and may experience other problems such as regurgitation and aspiration as a result.
Our surgeons use robotic surgery techniques for Heller myotomy, which allows for more exact, precise surgical movements and is a minimally-invasive approach to surgery.
The Heller Myotomy Procedure
Your surgeon will discuss with you whether you are a candidate for an esophageal (Heller) myotomy. UW Health surgeons divide the non-relaxing muscle at the end of your esophagus and at the beginning of your stomach.
They may also wrap part of your stomach around your esophagus so that you do not develop gastroesophageal reflux disease from your esophageal myotomy. This procedure is called fundoplication.
The following achalasia symptoms may suggest the necessity for surgical intervention:
  • Swallowing problems
  • Frequent regurgitation or lung problems related to regurgitation 
  • Weight loss