Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most frequent benign disorder of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and other defined disease entities, such as achalasia and diffuse esophageal spasm, also belong to this group. In addition to surgical therapy, medicinal therapy also has an important role in all 3 of these disorders. Therefore, it is very important to follow precise indication criteria based on diagnostic evaluation and patient selection as well as to use an optimal operative technique.The therapeutic spectrum for achalasia varies from Botox injections and endoscopic dilatation to laparoscopic myotomy which achieves a success rate up to 90%.Patients with diffuse spasm suffer from severe dysphagia, thoracic pain and burning sensations and even respiratory problems. Surgical therapy consists of thoracoscopic long myotomy and in selective cases with persisting pain even esophagectomy and gastric pull-up.Therapeutic options for GERD predominantly involve conservative medicinal therapy with proton pump inhibitors and selective laparoscopic antireflux procedures. Minimally invasive techniques have led to a higher acceptance of surgical therapy. The two major procedures most frequently used are total Nissen fundoplication and posterior partial Toupet fundoplication.
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