New Delhi | Ekta Purohit
Since more than two years Anita (29), could not swallow food, and not even able to digest water. If she tried too hard, the food would get stuck in his food pipe and she would have to throw up. When she was examined at Sir Gangaram Hospital , doctors diagnosed her with achalasia cardia.
It’s a condition where the food pipe muscles thicken and do not relax after swallowing. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. Achalasia is a serious condition that affects your esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a valve that closes off the esophagus from the stomach. If you have achalasia, your LES fails to open up during swallowing, which it’s supposed to do.
patients suffering from the condition cannot swallow food, sometimes not even water or their own saliva. The condition can also cause reflux, chest pain and almost 1 in 5000 suffering from this disease.
Chairman of Institute Of Liver Gastroenterology & Pancreatico Biliary Sciences at Sir Gangaram Hospital Dr. Anil Aroa and Consultant Dr. Vikas Singla performed a minimally invasive surgery, Peroral Endoscopic Esophageal Myotomy (POEM), to treat Akansha’s condition on May 15 this year and after so long now Akansha could finally start eating slowly without any difficulty.
Dr. Anil Arora said “It occurs because of degeneration of the nerve plexus (branching network of intersecting nerves) around the esophagus (food pipe) thereby causing inadequate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (bundle of muscles) after eating. The food therefore remains in the food pipe itself.
Elaborating, how POEM has an edge over traditional surgical methods Prof. Arora told Health Live , “Achalasia has been traditionally treated by a laparoscopic myotomy surgery, which usually stretches for two hours and around six small incisions are made in the stomach. Balloon dilatation has been another method to treat these patients but the procedure is associated with an uncontrolled rupture of the muscle fibres and is therefore considered dangerous.”
Dr.Vikas Singla, consultant at Sir Gangaram hospital told Health Live “The new technique, POEM, there is small external cut is made on the body. The average blood loss is less than 5 ml. The procedure involves making of tunnel of 15 cm and incision of the muscles with TT knife and secure closure with a few clips on the mucosectomy site.”
The patient’s recovery is remarkable and patient is able to talk and walk from the next day itself and can start eating food after one week,” said Dr. Vikas.
This treatment is first time performed in North India by Dr. Arora and Dr. Vikas at Gangaram Hospital, Delhi, six months back and having good results. Doctors team has performed POEM on almost ten patients.
Poem, which was pioneered by Japan and China is a surgical procedure done through endoscopy with hybrid knife.