Esophageal stricture: Causes, description, Treatment

Throat | Gastroenterology | Esophageal stricture (Disease)

Esophageal stricture: Description

A person with an esophageal stricture has abnormal narrowing of a section of the esophagus. The narrowing restricts the flow of food through the esophagus. Esophageal stricture is most common in those who have reflux esophagitis. Causes of esophageal stricture include esophageal cancer, GERD, infection, and drug side effects.

Symptoms of an esophageal stricture include chest pain after swallowing, difficulty swallowing, inability to swallow solid food, vomiting after swallowing, and vomiting undigested food.

Causes and Risk factors

It can be caused by or associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter, disordered motility, lye ingestion, or a hiatal hernia. Strictures can form after esophageal surgery and other treatments such as laser therapy or photodynamic therapy. While the area heals a scar forms, causing the tissue to pull and tighten which leads to difficulty in swallowing.

Esophageal stricture: Treatment and Diagnosis

Several procedures are available for stretching (dilating) the strictures without having to resort to surgery. One procedure involves placing a deflated balloon across the stricture at the time of endoscopy. The balloon is then inflated, thereby opening the narrowing caused by the stricture. Another method involves inserting tapered dilators of different sizes through the mouth and into the esophagus to dilate the stricture

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