Pneumatic Balloon Dilatation for Achalasia Cardia; Early & late results, a single center study | Shah | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Pneumatic Balloon Dilatation for Achalasia Cardia; Early & late results, a single center study

S. Waqar H. Shah, Arshad K. Butt, Anwaar Ahmed Khan, K. Malik, Altaf Alam


Objective: Achalasia Cardia is treated by Pneumatic balloon dilatation, Heller’s Myotomy and recently, by Peroral Esophagaeal Myotomy. This study reports the efficacy of pneumatic balloon dilatation as a non-surgical motility in achieving relief of dysphagia, clinical improvement and recurrence. Long-term complications were reported.

Methods: Eight hundred ninety two adult achalasia patients of both genders were treated from January 1988 till December 2011, with pneumatic balloon (Rigiflex Microvasive®) dilatation, under fluoroscopy  Barium swallow was obtained prior to and five minutes after dilatation to evaluate for efficacy of dilatation as well as for complications. Patients not responding to 30 mm balloon had repeat dilatation with 35 mm balloon after 8 weeks. All patients were enrolled in regular follow up at one, six months and yearly intervals up to a period of five years. Recurrence was defined as an increase in symptom score at 8 weeks greater than 50% of their baseline value. These patients were treated with 35 mm balloon or referred for surgical intervention.

Results: Of 892 patients, follow up was obtained in 50% for 5 years, 9.2% for 4-years), 9.3% for 3-years, 10% for 2-years and 21.5% for 1-year of patients. One patient died after repeat dilatation. Eighty-eight patients were excluded from this analysis (20 died due to non-procedure related causes and another 68 were lost during follow up). Statistically significant improvement was noted in reduction in height and width of barium column and symptom score coupled with weight gain during follow up. Forty-eight patients were subjected to repeat dilatation with 35 mm balloon, two of these developed post-procedure perforations with one mortality. Three non-responsive patients required surgical laparoscopic myotomy. No carcinoma of esophagus was reported during follow up. One patient post dilatation, developed esophageal bezoar. A single pneumatic dilatation achieved a remission rate of 93% at four years, 90% at three years, 95% at two years and 92% at one  year post dilatation.

Conclusion: Achalasia of esophagus can be effectively and safely treated with balloon dilatation to achieve adequate short and long-term symptomatic relief with a low complication rate.


How to cite this:Shah SWH, Butt AK, Malik K, Alam A, Khan AA. Pneumatic Balloon Dilatation for Achalasia Cardia; Early & late results, a single center study. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(5):1053-1058.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.