Esophageal Narrowing (stricture, stenosis, or rings)

What is it?
When there is a narrowed portion of the esophagus, called a stricture, stenosis, or ring, food and liquid have a more difficult time traveling from the pharynx to the stomach.  Patients who feel this can become quite bothered by it, especially when eating solid foods.  This can not only lead to loss of pleasure with eating, but also weight loss and associated effects.

How is it treated?

Working with a swallowing therapist is the initial step in managing esophageal narrowing disorders, as diet modification or special techniques can optimize swallowing.  When symptoms persist, esophageal stricture and stenosis can often be managed in an office-based setting using dilation techniques, which can provide immediate relief.  Some patients are better served with esophageal dilation in the operating room.