To review the potential benefits of esophageal resection with colon interposition in patients with achalasia.
University-based tertiary care center.
Nineteen patients (13 men, six women; median age, 44 years; age range, 26 to 77 years) with achalasia and recurrent or persistent dysphagia despite a variety of previous treatments.
Esophageal resection and replacement with colon interposition.
Main Outcome Measures:
Mortality and morbidity of the procedure, symptomatic outcome, nutritional impact, ability to ingest a meal, and overall patient satisfaction.
Follow-up results were available in 15 patients. The procedure accounted for no deaths and complications in four patients. Outcome assessment was done at a median of 6 years (range, 1 to 14 years) after resection. Overall, the symptomatic outcome was excellent to good in 12 patients. Eleven of the 15 patients gained weight (median weight loss, 6.3 kg) after the procedure. Thirteen patients were able to eat three meals daily; seven had the capacity to eat a steak dinner; five, an airline meal; and three, a snack. Nine of the 15 patients enjoyed an unrestricted diet. The speed of ingesting a meal was reduced in that most (11 of 15) were the last to finish when eating in a group. Fourteen of the 15 believed that the operation had cured or improved their preoperative symptoms, and a similar percentage were satisfied with the overall outcome of surgery. Most patients (12 of 15) would have the operation again.
Esophageal replacement for end-stage achalasia can be accomplished with safety and marked improvement of preoperative symptoms. Despite multiple previous therapeutic failures, normal alimentation was restored in the majority of patients, with 93% judging the operation to be highly beneficial, improving their quality of life. Based on this success, guidelines for resection in end-stage achalasia are established.(Arch Surg. 1995;130:632-637)