Achalasia, when referring to the esophagus, is a condition that results in the failure of the smooth muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. It is an esophageal motility disorder that not only effects the lower esophageal sphincter, but also adversely effects peristalsis, the muscular function of pushing food down the esophagus. The disorder can lead to difficulty in swallowing, regurgitation, and sometimes chest pain and/or weight loss.
The disorder has similar symptoms to many other disorders of the esophagus and stomach and a proper workup is very important in guiding patients toward appropriate therapeutic options. The studies that may be considered include:
- CT scan
- Barium swallow
- EGD – esophagogastrodoudenoscopy
- pH study
- Esophageal manometry