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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.

Important Safety Information

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Individual surgical results may vary. 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. Please also refer to  http://www.daVinciSurgery.com/Safety for Important Safety Information.

When Is Single-Site Technology Used and What Are the Risks?

da Vinci Surgery with Single-Site® Instruments is cleared for use in gallbladder removal, and for hysterectomy and ovary removal for benign conditions. Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci Surgery, including da Vinci Surgery with Single-Site Instruments. There may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery, including Single-Site surgery with the da Vinci System.


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This website does not provide medical advice. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

The materials on this website are for general educational information only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. Intuitive Surgical does not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice and the information on this website should not be considered medical advice. You should always talk to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Health information changes quickly. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

If you have questions about the da Vinci® Surgical System or about surgical procedures conducted with the da Vinci Surgical System, consult a surgeon that has experience with the da Vinci Surgical System. A list of surgeons that have experience with the da Vinci Surgical System can be found in the Surgeon Locator.

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