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da Vinci® Heller Myotomy
(Achalasia Surgery)

If you have been diagnosed with the swallowing disorder called achalasia and your doctor recommends surgery (called Heller Myotomy), you may be a candidate for minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery.

Why da Vinci Surgery?

Instead of the large abdominal incision used in open surgery, da Vinci surgeons make just a few small incisions - similar to traditional laparoscopy. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. As a result, da Vinci enables your doctor to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.

As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci Heller Myotomy offers the following potential benefits over traditional laparoscopic surgery:

  • More precise operation resulting in fewer esophageal tears1,2
  • Improved emotional and general health after surgery2
  • Improved quality-of-life after surgery2

State-of-the-art da Vinci uses the latest in surgical and robotics technologies and is beneficial for performing complex surgery. Your surgeon is 100% in control of the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. da Vinci – taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand.

Physicians have used the da Vinci System successfully worldwide in approximately 1.5 million various surgical procedures to date. da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for people around the world.

Risks & Considerations Related to Heller Myotomy Surgery:

Potential risks of any Heller Myotomy procedure include:

  • Post-operative acid reflux
  • Food impaction

In addition to these risks, there are risks related to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Heller Myotomy including: esophageal perforations (tears) although less common with da Vinci Heller Myotomy as compared to traditional laparoscopy.1

PN 1002289 Rev A 04/2013


  1. Horgan S, Galvani C, Gorodner MV, et al.; Robotic-Assisted Heller Myotomy Versus Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy for the Treatment of Esophageal Achalasia: Multicenter Study; J Gastrointest Surg 2005; 9:1020-1030 The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.
  2. Huffmanm LC, Pandalai PK, Boulton BJ, James L, Starnes SL, Reed MF, Howington JA, Nussbaum MS. Robotic Heller myotomy: a safe operation with higher postoperative quality-of-life indices. Surgery. 2007 Oct;142(4):613-8; discussion 618-20.

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious or life-threatening complications, which may require prolonged and/or unexpected hospitalization and/or reoperation, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: injury to tissues/organs, bleeding, infection and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction/pain. Risks of surgery also include the potential for equipment failure and/or human error. Individual surgical results may vary.

Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: temporary pain/nerve injury associated with positioning; temporary pain/discomfort from the use of air or gas in the procedure; a longer operation and time under anesthesia and conversion to another surgical technique. If your doctor needs to convert the surgery to another surgical technique, this could result in a longer operative time, additional time under anesthesia, additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications.

Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci Surgery. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.davincisurgery.com/safety and www.intuitivesurgical.com/safety. Unless otherwise noted, all people depicted are models.

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