Esophageal Stricture

Esophageal stricture is when the esophagus narrows making it hard to swallow. The esophagus is a muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach.

  • Causes

    Esophageal stricture is typically caused by scar tissue that develops as a result of the following:

    • Ingestion of damaging substances, such as household cleaning agents

    • Treatment of
      esophageal varices
      —enlarged veins in the esophagus
    • Injuries caused by an endoscope—a thin, lighted tube used to see inside the body
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Tracheoesophageal malformations

  • Definition

    Esophageal stricture is when the esophagus narrows making it hard to swallow. The esophagus is a muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach.

    Esophageal Stricture
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

    • Barium swallow
    • Upper GI endoscopy

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of getting esophageal stricture, take these steps:

    • See your doctor if you have GERD.
    • Treat any other high risk cause as directed by your doctor
    • Avoid ingesting corrosive substances.
    • Keep corrosive substances locked up and away from children.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of esophageal stricture include:

    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
      (GERD)
    • Prolonged use of a nasogastric tube—a tube that is inserted through the nose to the stomach
    • Eosinophilic esophagitis
    • Systemic sclerosis
    • Barrett esophagus

    • Certain medications, such as those used to treat
      osteoporosis, or some antibiotics

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Pain when swallowing
    • Unintentional weight loss
    • Regurgitation of food—when food flows back from the stomach into the esophagus or mouth
    • Esophageal stricture may cause large chunks of food to get stuck in the esophagus

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:


    If you are diagnosed with esophageal stricture, follow your doctor's
    instructions
    .