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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:

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


  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.

All surgery presents risk, including da Vinci Surgery. Results, including cosmetic results, may vary. Serious complications may occur in any surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious and life-threatening complications, which may require hospitalization, include injury to tissues or organs; bleeding; infection, and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction or pain. Temporary pain or nerve injury has been linked to the inverted position often used during abdominal and pelvic surgery. Patients should understand that risks of surgery include potential for human error and potential for equipment failure. Risk specific to minimally invasive surgery may include: a longer operative time; the need to convert the procedure to an open approach; or the need for additional or larger incision sites. Converting the procedure to open could mean a longer operative time, long time under anesthesia, and could lead to increased complications. Research suggests that there may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery. Patients who bleed easily, have abnormal blood clotting, are pregnant or morbidly obese are typically not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery. Other surgical approaches are available. Patients should review the risks associated with all surgical approaches. They should talk to their doctors about their surgical experience and to decide if da Vinci is right for them. For more complete information on surgical risks, safety and indications for use, please refer to http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-surgery/safety-information.php.

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PN 1002289 Rev A 04/2013

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