NEW DELHI: The city based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) claimed that 375 patients recovered in last five years from Achalasia Gardia, a rare and debilitating disease of the food pipe which needs special procedures.
The procedure, called Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM), was performed on patients in the age group of 14-90 years, of which 43% were females and 57% males, said the hospital. Chairman of the Institute of Liver, Gastroenterology and Pancreaticobiliary Sciences (ILGPS) Professor Anil Arora explained that in Achalasia Cardia, the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), which is present between the esophagus and the stomach, fails to relax during swallowing and, hence, food cannot enter the stomach and gets stuck in the food pipe.
“The symptoms include difficulty in swallowing, chest pain followed by vomiting. Patients can suffer from loss of weight and poor quality of life. It is a rare disease and is often misdiagnosed with Gastroesophageal reflux disease which has similar symptoms,” he said.
In POEM, the non-relaxing LES is cut from within the cavity of the esophagus using endoscopy. “The entire procedure takes around 1-1.5 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. Most patients are able to resume diet from the very next day,” said Arora.