What is esophageal stenosis?
It is the narrowing of the esophagus’ diameter that results in difficult transport of food toward the stomach.
What are the causes of esophageal stenosis?
All factors causing inflammation of an area in the surface of the esophagus as a result of gastroesophageal reflux, the presence of a tumor, prolonged use of a nasogastric tube, the intake of chemical substances such as caustic agents, and previous surgeries.
What are the symptoms of an esophageal stenosis?
The main symptom is dysphagia, or the difficulty to swallow food, pain at the moment of swallowing, and regurgitation or return of gastric content toward the mouth. There is also weight loss and progressive dehydration as food has a difficult time reaching the stomach.
How is it diagnosed?
A medical history is necessary to evaluate the symptoms. An x ray test called esophagogram, where the patient is given to drink a radio-opaque fluid, is used to identify the site and characteristics of the stenosis.
What is the treament?
The most effective treatment is achieved by means of an upper endoscopy. Once identified the stenosis, it is possible to perform a variety of techniques such as dilations with hydropneumatic balloons, dilations with dilators, or radial cuts with electrocautery. This procedures are performed without the need for open surgery.
The majority of these treatments can be performed in an outpatient clinic, without the need for hospital stay.
If the case of stenosis is a tumor, it is possible to use argon plasma via endoscopy to reduce the tumor’s size and reestablish an passage way for food