Alternate Names : Esophageal Stenosis
What are the treatments for the condition?
Usually, strictures are treated by using a tool to dilate or widen the esophagus. A person may be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then a rigid, tapered device is pushed through the stricture. Every few days or once a week this is repeated with increasingly larger tools until the person finds it easy to swallow again.
In two other methods of dilation, an endoscope is inserted into the esophagus. Then a flexible-tip guide wire with a dilator or air-filled balloon is passed through the endoscope to enlarge the constricted passageway.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease must be treated, too, if it has caused a stricture. Long-term treatment with medications known as proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, or rabeprazole, have been shown to keep these strictures from recurring.
Surgery may be required if a stricture cannot be dilated enough for solid food to pass through, or if repeated dilations fail to keep it open.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Problems related to treatment may include:
a puncture of the esophagus, or esophageal perforation
a need to change diet to ease swallowing
side effects of medication used to treat gastroesophageal reflux, such as allergic reactions or stomach upset
What happens after treatment for the condition?
In some cases, an esophageal stricture recurs after treatment. After successful treatment, a person can generally go back to regular activities.
How is the condition monitored?
After the esophageal stricture has been treated, the person should report any new symptoms to the healthcare provider.