Oesophageal Strictures

About Oesophageal Strictures

Oesophageal strictures is the medical term for a tightening or constriction of the oesophagus (food pipe).

Strictures can cause difficulty in swallowing and result in regurgitation of food and liquid too.

Food and liquid may struggle to get through to the stomach and a sensation of pressure may build up on the chest.

What causes Oesophageal Strictures?

Oesophageal strictures can be caused by many different conditions. The most common type is a benign stricture which is usually the result of peptic oesophagitis or reflux disease. It is most common in people over 40.

Oesophageal Strictures can occur due to genetics or hereditary or can be a response to other conditions such as swallowing a toxic substance, radiation injury or achalasia.

Oesophageal Cancer and Strictures

Malignant cancers can also cause a stricture in the oesophagus, but patients should not panic and believe strictures are always a sign of oesophageal cancer. Oesophageal cancer is linked to smoking or excessive alcohol content, particularly in younger people, so getting in touch with your doctor as soon as possible if you’re experiencing symptoms is vital.

Treating Oesophageal Strictures

Benign oesophageal strictures are usually treated through the stretching or dilation of the oesophagus. This is usually carried out via an upper endoscopy and then a method of dilation is chosen to treat the benign stricture. Oesophageal strictures are usually dilated via a balloon dilator, which can open up the space and immediately relieve the patient’s symptoms. Dilation is usually quick and effective, but symptoms include infection, tears and potential bleeding.

Malignant oesophageal strictures will be treated differently dependent on the patient’s whole cancer treatment plan. It may or may not be recommended to treat the stricture. Malignant strictures can be surgically repaired, and this may take place alongside other treatments including chemotherapy, oesophageal dilation and laser treatments.

Appointments for Oesophageal Strictures

The symptoms of oesophageal strictures can be worrying but in many instances, you can be treated quickly and be symptom free after a small endoscopic procedure. Dr Rehan Haidry is an experienced consultant gastroenterologist and endoscopist helping many patients with oesophageal strictures and similar complaints regularly.

To make an enquiry or appointment please contact Dr Rehan Haidry's secretary