Intraoperative use of FLIP is associated with clinical success following POEM for achalasia

Amy L. Holmstrom, Ryan A.J. Campagna, Arturo Cirera, Dustin A. Carlson, John E. Pandolfino, Ezra N. Teitelbaum, Eric S. Hungness*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Esophagogastric junction distensibility index (DI), measured using the functional luminal imaging probe (FLIP), correlates with symptomatic outcomes after interventions for achalasia. The objective of this study was to determine if the intraoperative measurement of DI using FLIP was associated with improved clinical outcomes following per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) for achalasia when compared with procedures in which FLIP was not utilized. Methods: Patients undergoing POEM from 2012 to 2017 at a single institution by a single surgeon were studied. Use of FLIP during this time period was based on catheter and technician availability, resulting in two patient cohorts. In patients in whom FLIP was used, operative video recordings were reviewed to determine when DI measurements led to the performance of additional myotomy. Postoperative Eckardt symptom scores (ES) at 12 months and postoperative physiologic studies were compared between patients with and without intraoperative FLIP. Associations were assessed using Mann–Whitney U and Chi-square tests. Results: 143 patients were included in the analysis (61 with intraoperative FLIP and 82 without FLIP). Video recordings were available for 85% of the FLIP cohort. Review of these operative recordings revealed that 65% of patients who underwent FLIP had additional myotomy performed following the initial postmyotomy FLIP measurement. At 12 months after POEM, the FLIP cohort had significantly more clinical successes (defined as ES ≤ 3) than patients in whom FLIP was not used (93% vs. 81%, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Use of intraoperative FLIP during POEM resulted in the surgeon performing additional myotomy in over half of cases and was associated with improved clinical outcomes. This study demonstrates the potential for a FLIP-tailored myotomy to improve outcomes in patients undergoing surgical myotomy for achalasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSurgical endoscopy
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Achalasia
  • FLIP
  • POEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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