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What is 'Achalasia Cardiac', the rare disorder that makes swallowing difficult?

This condition is seen in 1 in one lakh people, predominantly young women where there is a progressive difficulty with swallowing solids and liquids due to neuromuscular incoordination
Last Updated : 30 January 2023, 10:55 IST
Last Updated : 30 January 2023, 10:55 IST
Last Updated : 30 January 2023, 10:55 IST
Last Updated : 30 January 2023, 10:55 IST

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A 30-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with a rare disorder termed as Achalasia Cardia which led to dysphasia (swallowing difficulty), could finally eat her favourite meal after a gap of six months.

This condition is seen in one in one lakh individuals, predominantly young women where there is a progressive difficulty with swallowing solids and liquids due to neuromuscular incoordination.

The patient, Nita Rane, who was detected with Achalasia Cardia, where the food pipe gets narrowed down in the lower half due to neuromuscular incoordination, was able to eat her first meal after a long time.

The IT consultant had vomiting and intolerance to food which was progressive.This caused severe malnourishment and led to loss of 16 kg over six months. She consulted various doctors but this condition was misdiagnosed as acidity and reflux disease initially.

The patient was then referred to Apollo Spectra Hospital, Pune wherein she received timely medical attention. A team headed by Dr Kedar Patil, Bariatric, Hernia, and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Pune successfully performed a complex surgery on her.

‘‘On arrival, she was dehydrated and malnourished with vomiting as a predominant symptom .This rare disorder damages nerves in the oesophagus (the tube that passes swallowed food from the throat down into one’s stomach),” said Dr Patil.

The patient was corrected nutritionally with parenteral nutrition following which she underwent a surgical procedure known as Laparoscopic Heller's Cardiomyotomy with Toupet Fundoplication.

“We could do the surgery laparoscopically, there was very minimal pain and the patient was ambulated the next day, started on a liquid diet and discharged on day two post-surgery. Surgery lasted for two hours. Laparoscopic surgery has a distinct advantage in areas where the field to operate is narrow due to magnification with laparoscope one can have good vision and perform the surgery more effectively,” said Dr Patil.

“I was in a rude shock when I was diagnosed with this rare condition," said Nita. "I was unable to eat even a single morsel of food or drink anything due to a swallowing problem. I looked pale and malnourished. I also lost oodles of weight. I was getting anxious, stressed, and losing hope. I was unable to perform my daily chores with ease. I have had a full meal after six months now and I am happy that I could eat again without any problem,” she said.

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Published 30 January 2023, 10:55 IST

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