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Esophageal stricture - benign

Definition

Benign esophageal stricture is a narrowing of the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) that causes swallowing difficulties.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Esophageal stricture can be caused by:

Symptoms

Signs and tests

Treatment

Dilation (stretching) of the esophagus is the preferred treatment. Repeated dilation may be necessary to prevent the stricture from returning.

Proton pump inhibitors (acid-blocking medicines) can keep a peptic stricture from returning. Surgical treatment is rarely necessary.

Expectations (prognosis)

The patient may develop the stricture again in the future.

Complications

Swallowing difficulties may keep the patient from getting enough fluids and nutrients. There is also an increased risk (with regurgitation) of having food, fluid, or vomit enter the lungs and cause choking or aspiration pneumonia.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if swallowing difficulty persists.

Prevention

Use safety measures to avoid swallowing corrosive substances. Keep dangerous products out of the reach of children. See your doctor if you have GERD.


Review Date: 7/28/2006
Reviewed By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-TorresdaleHospital, Jefferson Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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