Patients experiencing difficulties swallowing might have esophageal strictures (abnormal tightening of the esophagus). At the offices in Baytown, North Loop, Houston, and Humble, Texas, GI Specialists of Houston’s highly skilled gastroenterologists perform endoscopic dilation of strictures to treat the condition. To discover how you could find relief from painful or difficult swallowing, call GI Specialists of Houston or book an appointment online today.
Endoscopic dilation of strictures is a procedure used to treat esophageal strictures (abnormal tightening of your esophagus).
Esophageal strictures make it hard to swallow and limit or even block the passage of food and drinks from your throat to your stomach. You might experience a burning sensation in your neck or throat, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), feeling like food gets stuck in your throat, or frequent choking episodes.
Endoscopic dilation of strictures widens your esophagus and relieves the uncomfortable symptoms.
The GI Specialists of Houston team might recommend endoscopic dilation of strictures if you develop problems with swallowing that other approaches aren’t resolving.
The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting your throat to your stomach. It carries food and drinks to your stomach when you swallow. You should be able to swallow without discomfort in the esophagus, but food travels slowly or gets stuck when a stricture develops. The result is uncomfortable and restricted swallowing.
Most structures are benign (noncancerous) and develop slowly. Some are malignant (cancerous) and worsen quickly. The following increases your risk of esophageal strictures:
Esophageal strictures are uncommon and generally affect people over 40, although they can occur at any age.
Endoscopic dilation of strictures involves using an endoscope, an instrument that goes down your throat. A sedative helps you relax and controls any pain. Your GI Specialists of Houston provider also numbs your throat with an anesthetic spray.
After inserting the endoscope, your provider has several options for increasing the space in your throat. They might inflate a balloon to stretch the esophagus or use plastic or rubber dilators of increasing sizes to stretch the tissues. People with complex esophageal strictures might require metal esophageal stents.
Endoscopic dilation of strictures is an outpatient treatment, so you can go home when the sedative wears off.
To learn more about endoscopic dilation of strictures and how it can help you swallow without discomfort, call GI Specialists of Houston today or book an appointment online.