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Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Therapies

Diseases & Conditions

Motility Disorders Treatments

How are Motility Disorders Treated?

Your treatment options will include:

Botulinum toxin, or botox, injections may ease symptoms in some patients.

Sometimes medications that relax muscles, such as calcium channel blockers, vasodilators or anti-cholinergics, are helpful.

Surgery (Myotomy)
Surgery is one of the most effective long-term treatments for motility disorders. The most common motility disorder treated by operation is achalasia. If you have achalasia, the surgeon will directly cut the muscle fibers in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will allow food to pass more easily into the stomach. This procedure is sometimes called a Heller myotomy.

There are three ways to perform a myotomy:

  • Open surgery, using thoracotomy or incision

  • Laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions in the abdomen. A thin, lighted tube called a laparoscope, as well as other surgical tools, are inserted through these incisions to allow the surgeon to work on the esophagus.

  • Robotic myotomy, in which the surgeon guides robotic instruments in the abdomen using a computer console. The surgeon's hand movements are conveyed to the robotic instruments mimicking the same movements that would be used if larger incisions, big enough for the surgeons hands, were used. Boston Medical Center was the first center in New England to perform thoracic procedures such as Heller myotomy using a robot.

What are motility disorders, their symptoms and causes?
How are motility disorders diagnosed?

Other Treatments
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Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Therapies
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Boston, MA 02118


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Boston Medical Center
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Boston, MA 02118
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Fax: 617.638.7382


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