The surgeon then makes a long incision in the esophagus at the level of the esophageal sphincter. This releases the sphincter and allows it to relax. This surgery is very effective in curing achalasia, with over 90% of patients obtaining relief from symptoms post-operatively. Recovery is generally rapid, and most patients are able to leave the hospital within 1 to 3 days. Infrequently, the operation cannot be accomplished laparoscopically, and a larger incision is required. In these cases, hopitalization times may be longer.