What is achalasia?

Motor disorder. Achalasia is a motor disorder of the esophagus. Achalasia is characterized by two things: 1) failure of relaxation of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach when swallowing, 2) no normal mobement of the esophagus. Best treatment is minimal invasive surgery (or robotic) cutting muscle and a partial "wrap" procedure called heller myotomy with fundoplication.
Broken esophagus. Achalasia is where the esophagus does not function to propel food into the stomach. Because the valve entering the stomach usually only opens when it gets a signal that food is coming from the esophagus, it tends to rarely open due to this lack of function of the esophagus. The valve then gets stiff, and prevents passage of food into the stomach. Treatment is aimed at permanently opening the valve.
Swallowing disorder. Achalasia is a disorder of the muscles of the esophagus leading to swallowing problems. It usually has two components: 1) failure of propulsive ("peristaltic") contraction of the muscles of the body of the esophagus; and 2) failure to relax of the lower esophageal sphincter (the outlet of the esophagus into the stomach). Both lead to obstructive symptoms and gradual dilation of the esophagus.

Related Questions

What is achalasia?

Achalasia. Inability of esophagus to move food down toward stomach. May be neurological or infectious in origin. Some autoimmune causes as well. Read more...
No function. Basically, the esophagus doesn't work to propel the food into the stomach in a coordinated fashion because the nerves that coordinate this function don't work. Cause is typically unknown, but probably related to a viral infection somehow. Treatment is directed at opening the lower esophageal valve to relieve the symptoms (no cure for the nerves). The newest treatment is poem. Read more...
Achalasia. This is a progressive disorder of the esophagus in which the esophagus no longer has the ability to push food into the stomach and at the same time, the lower esophageal sphincter pressure is increased. The most common symptoms are difficulty swallowing and regurgitation. Symptoms may be confused with gerd. Diagnosis is made with endoscopy, x-rays, and esophageal manometry. Read more...

What is achalasia?

Esophageal disorder. Achalasia, rare disorder, affects the ability of the esophagus to move food toward the stomach.Muscular ring, sphincter, where esophagus and stomach come together normally relaxes during swallowing. In people with achalasia, sphincter does not relax as well. The reason for this problem is damage to the nerves of the esophagus.Can be idiopathic, caused by infection, or sometimes cancer. Read more...
Achalasia. It is a motility disorder of the esophagus when the distal esophagus at the junction with the stomach can not relax, therefore difficult to pass solids and liquids into the stomach. See full info educational info at http://en.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/achalasia and/or http://www.Mayoclinic.Org/achalasia/. Read more...

What are symptoms of achalasia?

Difficulty swallowin. With both solid and liquids, and usually throwing up undigested food. Of course similar symptoms can be caused other conditions as well, including esophageal cancer, so proper work up is required. Read more...
Dysphagia. This is the medical term for difficulty swallowing. Slow eating, being the last one at the table, and weight loss are also common. Intermittent chest pain can also occur from spasm. It is also common to have the sensation that the food is sitting in the chest, not going in to the stomach. Bad breath can also occur due to food staying the esophagus for a prolonged period of time. Read more...

What are the symptoms of achalasia?

Achalasia. This is a narrowing of the esophagus which can be very painful. It is usually associated with painful and difficult swallowing of both food and liquids. Sometimes it can be treated by dilating the esophagus to reduce the pain and narrowing. You should see a gastroenterologist for further treatment. Read more...
Achalasia . Usually difficulty swallowing, sensation foid is stuck in the chest, occasionally associated with intermittent chest pain and weight loss. Most effective and most invasive treatment is surgically cutting the muscle of the valve, that can be done laparoscopically or endoscopically (poem). Read more...
Achalasia symptoms. Difficulty swallowing regurgitation reflux weight loss vomiting endoscopy is performed to exclude a malignancy of the esophagus. X-rays often demonstrate a narrowing or birds beak of the distal esophagus. Manometry is diagnostic. Laparoscopic surgery with a heller myotomy is highly effective treatment. Read more...

I have achalasia, what is classified as End Stage Achalasia?

See answer. In patients with late- or end-stage achalasia the esophagus may appear significantly dilated (megaesophagus), angulated, and tortuous giving it a sigmoid shape. Read more...

Is type 3 Achalasia same as what is also called vigorous Achalasia?

Yes. Although we do not use that term anymore. Now we just call it type III or sometimes spastic achalasia. Hope that helps. Read more...
Yes, they are. basically the same, but Vigorous Achalasia is based on an older classification system using diagnostic criteria from conventional manometry, while Type 3 is a newer classification system based on high resolution manometry criteria. Read more...

On PA & Lat chest images, besides achalasia, what else could cause the gastric bubble to be missing/unseen?

Normal xray. Either presence or absence of a "gastric bubble" on a chest Xray is entirely normal. If swallowed gas is in the stomach, usually a "bubble" is seen. If not, no bubble. That's all. When a gastric bubble is seen, its size and location might give a clue about achalasia or other conditions. But absence of a bubble on any particular xray is meaningless. Read more...