An oesophagal stricture is abnormally narrowing of the oesophagus. Benign (non-cancerous) strictures are more common and may occur due to the accumulation of fibrous tissue and collagen deposits caused due to ulcers or chronic infection of the oesophagus. Strictures are of two types simple and complex.
Symptoms of Oesophageal Stricture
People suffering from oesophagal strictures may experience the below symptoms:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain while swallowing
- Involuntary weight loss
- The feeling of food stuck in the throat
- Food returning back to the mouth from the stomach
- Frequent hiccups
- Dehydration or malnutrition
People feel pain more while swallowing solid foods and generally they may have no problems while swallowing liquids.
Causes of Oesophageal Stricture
There are several different causes for oesophagal strictures which include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Injury due to insertion of an endoscope
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Regular use of a nasogastric (NG) tube – a tube through the nose and oesophagus into the stomach
- Swallowing toxic substances that harm the lining of the oesophagus which include household cleaners, dyes, disc batteries, or other acidic substances.
- Treatment of oesophagal varices.
Treatment for Oesophageal Stricture
Treatment for oesophagal stricture depends on the cause, severity and other underlying conditions. There are various treatment options which include both surgical and non-surgical.
Oesophageal dilation or stretching
Oesophageal stent placement
Diet & lifestyle changes
Medications can also important to improve the condition
When the above treatment options don’t work to improve the condition oesophagal stricture, a gastro surgeon would suggest undergoing a surgery.
Esophagectomy and Gastric Pull-through Procedures:
The gastric pull-through procedure is comparatively a new surgical method for problems like carcinoma of the hypopharynx & cervical oesophagus and other benign conditions like oesophagus stricture and achalasia, that require total esophagectomy. There are various esophagectomy procedures existing to treat oesophagal diseases.
The most common surgical procedures are transthoracic esophagectomies which include the Ivor Lewis and McKeown techniques, and transhiatal esophagectomy. These procedures help to treat oesophagal stricture.
For children, there is another procedure named gastric pull-up, also called gastric transposition, is a surgical technique to reconstruct a part of your child’s damaged or underdeveloped oesophagus with stomach tissue. The gastric pull-up procedure is most commonly used after the removing of a section of the oesophagus (esophagectomy).