Achalasia can be misdiagnosed because it has signs like that of other stomach-related conditions. To test for achalasia, your doctor will most likely recommend:
Esophageal manometry: This test assesses the muscle contractions in your throat when you swallow, the coordination and strength of your throat muscles, and how well your lower esophageal sphincter loosens up or opens up during a swallow.
Abdominal x-rays are taken after you drink a special liquid that coats and fills the covering of your stomach. The coating enables your doctor to examine your throat, stomach, and upper gastrointestinal tract. You may similarly swallow a barium pill that can show a blockage of the throat.
Upper endoscopy: Your doctor inserts a slim, flexible tube outfitted with a light and camera (endoscope) down your throat, to investigate inside your throat and stomach. Endoscopy can be used to show a blockage of the throat if a diagnosis isn’t reached yet. Endoscopy can be used to get a sample for biopsy.
Nonsurgical alternatives include:
- Pneumatic extension
- Botox (botulinum toxin type A)
Surgical procedures include:
- Heller myotomy
- Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM)