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Benign Esophageal Strictures

A benign esophageal stricture is any stricture or narrowing of the esophagus that is not caused by a tumor or cancer. Typically, these benign strictures are secondary to gastroesophageal reflux disease, but can also be secondary to radiation therapy or ingestion of harsh chemicals.

Signs and symptoms of an esophageal stricture include:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach or chest pain
  • Voice changes/raspy voice
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

Common interventions we offer to help improve symptoms include:

  • Balloon dilation

    This is an endoscopic procedure where our surgeons first look with a camera in the esophagus and then insert a device that will dilate the esophagus at the point of stricture.

  • Mechanical dilation

    This is an endoscopic procedure where the surgeon will inspect the esophagus with a camera, remove the camera, then will sequentially insert and remove dilators to stretch the stricture as much as possible without causing a perforation in the esophagus.

  • Esophageal stent placement

    This is an endoscopic procedure where the surgeon first inspects the esophagus, then places a special stent that bypasses the stricture allowing for relief of symptoms.

Often times, repeat dilations are necessary at regular intervals.