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September 1960

Achalasia of the Esophagus: A Follow-Up Study of Patients Undergoing Esophagomyotomy

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Fellow in Surgery, Mayo Foundation (Dr. Payne); Section of Surgery (Dr. Ellis) and Section of Medicine (Dr. Olsen), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

Arch Surg. 1960;81(3):411-418. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300030071009

Cardiospasm, or achalasia of the esophagus, is a disease characterized by a lack of coordinated peristaltic motility in the body of the esophagus and by failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax after deglutition. At the present stage of knowledge, treatment for this condition has been restricted to relief of the obstruction in the lower part of the esophagus, and it has been ineffective in restoring normal esophageal motility. Mechanical dilation of the cardia has been of considerable value in the relief of symptoms of this condition and is vastly superior to earlier surgical procedures. These procedures (such as those of Wendel, Heyrovsky, and Grondahl), which destroyed or bypassed the esophagogastric junction, almost universally resulted in severe reflux esophagitis, and they have been abandoned. The present-day surgical treatment of cardiospasm was initiated in 1913 by Heller1 and subsequently was modified by Zaaijer,2 in 1923. It is this

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