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
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
- Barrett's esophagus
- Certain medications, such as those used to treat osteoporosis, or some antibiotics
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
Esophageal dilation is a procedure your doctor performs to stretch or widen your esophagus. An endoscope will be passed through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. A small balloon or tapered plastic dilators will be used to stretch your esophagus. Repeat dilations are often required to adequately stretch the esophagus.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
When esophageal stricture is caused by GERD, proton pump inhibitors or acid-blocking medications are used to prevent the stricture from returning.
Surgery may be necessary if the stricture is too tight or wide.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy http://www.asge.org
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology https://www.cag-acg.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116914/Gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-GERD . Updated April 11, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2016.
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