More interest in cleveland clinic!

Reading all of your wonderful thoughts on Dr. Rice and the Cleveland clinic I became curious…
I was just recently diagnosed with Achalasia and it sucked! I recieved the botox injection and it seems to be doing alright for right now (its only been a few weeks). However I know my symptoms will get worse again. I’m thinking of skipping all the other crap I will have to go through and go see him.
It is sounding like he only performs the surgeries, so I am wondering how long some of you have been dealing with Achalasia and how many other treatments you experienced before seeing Dr. Rice???
This could be very helpful to me in figuing out my future with Achalasia!
Thank you!!

Hi ,
I have had Achalasia for over 30 years and I was diagnosised at 17. I had a few little stretches and treatments, but really we decided to go straight to the surgery and I am glad. Now days I hear all kinds of stories. The worst case scenerio is that the botox creates so much scare tissue that it will impossible to do the surgery, which you will ultimately need, laproscopiclly. That means a BIG open surgery with lots of recovery time. I don’t know about you, but having had the big open surgery, I would rather have 5 little holes and 2 weeks recovery. It is something to talk to Dr. Rice about, and I think he will so consultations, not just surgeries, but for me I feel glad I did the surgery.



Pick up that phone and call 216-223-2273. Dr Rice’s nurse is Paula Stepnick and she is very nice. I was daignosed in early May. I live in Richmond Va and my GI mentioned that I may have to travel to have the surgery that I needed, a Heller Myotomy.

I found Tonia who took her son to CC and she spoke so highly of Dr Rice and his experience with A that I decided not to look any further. He is an expert. That being said I went to Cleveland in June for my surgical consult and was scheduled to return for surger on July 18th. For out of town patients they schedule everything to be done in one week. I flew in on a Sunday night had test on Monday, cleaned out my system on tuesday, surgery on Wednesday and flew home on Friday. The CC is eaiser to get in them my own primary care! Maybe it is because we are a rare breed and Dr Rice truly cares about Acalaisia patients. But don’t do anymore botox he does not beleive in that treatment and will give you a lecture. Keep us posted.

Katie in VA

Hi This is Tonia mom of James age 14 with Achalasia.
I HIGHLY RECCOMEND DR RICE!!! I took my son to a so called specialist for Achalasia and he made him worse.I began my research and found the yahoo group who then helped me find Dr Rice. Both were a god send.
The group gave me information,support and guidance and then Dr Rice had the experience and knowledge to fix my son.My son surgery with Dr RICE WIL BE ONE YEAR THE 27TH OF THIS MONTH! HES DOING GREAT!

Dont make the mistake I did and settle for anything less than the best!!!This cost my son almost 9 days in ICU and about a 2 month recovery to get him fixed and better.

Please ask any questions or if you would like contact me and I will give you my number.

Katie in Va as you have read, also just recently used Dr Rice.If you visit the yahoo group you will find several more people who also used him and will highly reccomend him.He has done over 300 myotomies so that should tell ya something.

Let me know if I can be of any help.

Tonia in VA

Thank you all for your replies!!!

I am just curious now… after the surgeries went so well, are you able to return to eating anything you desire without experiencing symptoms at all???

Thanks again!

James eats whatever he wants with no trouble at all!


I just wanted to let you know the number you posted is not a good number. It says its not in service.


Try this number (216) 444-1921. It should at least get you to his offices and they can direct you to the persons you need to talk to.

Actually the number posted is an 800. The actual number for Paula Stepnik is 216-445-3415

The number for Dr. Rice’s office is 216-444-1921.
Ask for Jessica or Nancy, and they will be able to help you.

Well he may be “the man” but I have called and left messages 4 times now and
gotten no response back.

Hi, this is Edwin, a re-born member, so to speak. I live in the Wisconsin area and have been seeing my doctor since 1999. There are 2 doctors here, that I know of, who handle Achalasia patients. I’ve had 3 dilatations between '99 and 2000. Going to see him next week for a consult. It’s been since 2003 or so since my last visit.

I’m just curious to hear if Dr. Rice is the end all, be all in the Midwest, or if anyone else has heard of successful doctors performing surgery and the like in the Wisconsin-Illinois area. I mean if Dr. Rice is that good, and if I need surgery, I would definitely travel and look into his practice.


Dr Rice is the man! He has done over 300 myotomies.People from all around the world go to him for A. If you have any questions just e mail I wish I would have took my son to him first off, he would not have had to go through 2 surgeries.A specialist is someone like Dr Rice who have done hundreds not someone who has done a few.Be sure to ask your DR how many he has done and how many have been succesfull.


I hope that I am posting this correctly, this is my first post to this group. I have achalasia, I have had this condition for about 20 yrs. For the first 5 yrs, I was not diagnosed, as I suppose many doctors do not know much about it. I was told it was stress, or a sphincter muscle problem. At last someone said the word “achalasia” and I didn’t understand what that meant. After a brief motility study, they found that I had no or very little motility in my esophagus. For about 5 years I endured lots of dilatations, and medications to help, all of which did not help that much. So I just kinda gave up on it and never went back (I guess I fit the profile of the lone sufferer). I have learned to live with it, did not realize until a few months ago that I should not ignore this, so I have made an appointment to have an upper GI and see where I am at. Currently, I live fine within my condition, I have learned from YEARS of practice, how to eat and power swallow, eat small amounts and sleep slightly propped, or else!!! Other than that, I have those painful spasms on occasion, that is helped with immediately swallowing some water or eating a bit of something. I eat well, but slowly and carefully. I am not underweight, nor overweight. My A started at the age of 30, I am now 49.

I’m scared and hope that my esophagus is still okay, not realizing that it could weaken or bulge, that’s a scary thought. Can this surgery that everyone speaks of, really help?? Or is it just necessary for the sake of the esophagus to keep it from weakening or both?? Any thoughts, I would appreciate anything on this.

Thanks, Julie (from So. California).

There is Mayo in Mn. A city the size of Chicago should have at least one. I don’t know anything about this guy except what I read. He should be well qualified. You can contact him and if nothing else he may lead you to someone. His contact info, including email address is on the page below.

Mark K. Ferguson, MD
Professor of Surgery
University of Chicago Hospitals


He is there this week. I sent him an email yesterday afternoon, got a
read receipt within 10 minutes of sending it, and had a response this

Tracy in NY

Thanks for the info Notan and Tonia! I just had an upper GI and an endoscopy this past Tuesday-Wednesday. Dr. said my esophagus is almost totally closed/narrow and is telling me no more diatations, to do the surgery. He mentioned 2 surgeons at St. Lukes here in Milwaukee, WI, but does not know how many they’ve performed or their success rates.

I’ve heard of the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN as well. I guess I will start probing into the local surgeons, then go from there. But I’m keeping my options open and will shop around.

What is Dr. Rice’s contact info/e-mail again?

Thanks again!

Thanks for the information @tracylb !

Hi! Patient of Dr. Rice’s since 2004. On my first visit to see him, I was told that people from all over the world come to see him. I live in Ohio and I did not realize how lucky I was until then to be so close. He performed a Heller myotomy with Dor on me. Since then I have seen Dr. Edgar Achkar (Also at CCF) who has performed one dilation and I am scheduled to have another one done on Tuesday January 29. Dr. Rice is very firm about seeing his achalasia patients once a year to make sure everything is okay. Good Luck and God Bless.

Dr. Rice performed my surgery two weeks ago. I couldn’t be more pleased with how well I feel and the treatment I received. I went straight for the laproscopic surgery. My recovery was phenomenal. Dr. Rice is truly the best. He listens to your questions and explains what is going to be done. After only two weeks, I am already eating better than I have. I got to him by accident, as the Cleveland Clinic is several hours from my home. It was well worth the trip.