Corrosive Stricture Oesophagus
Corrosive stricture of the oesophagus is a condition where the oesophagus becomes narrowed or constricted due to damage caused by exposure to corrosive substances, such as acids or alkalis. This can cause difficulty swallowing and other symptoms. Treatment may include medication, dilation of the oesophagus, or surgery.
Symptoms of Corrosive Stricture Oesophagus
The symptoms can vary depending on the severity and location of the stricture. Some common symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing (Dysphagia)
- Pain or discomfort while swallowing (Odynophagia)
- Regurgitation of food or liquids
- Weight loss
- Chest pain or heartburn
- Coughing or choking while eating or drinking
- Gagging or retching while swallowing
In severe cases, complete obstruction of the oesophagus may occur, which can cause a medical emergency. This can lead to symptoms such as severe chest pain, inability to swallow anything (including saliva), and respiratory distress. If you are experiencing any signs & symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Causes of Oesophageal Strictures
Oesophageal strictures can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): This is a condition in which your stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, leading to inflammation and scarring of the oesophageal tissues. Over time, this scarring can cause the oesophagus to become narrowed, leading to strictures.
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis: This is a condition in which the oesophagus becomes inflamed due to an allergic reaction to certain foods or environmental factors. Over time, this inflammation can lead to the formation of strictures.
- Swallowing Corrosive Substances: The ingestion of corrosive substances, such as acids or alkalis, can cause damage to the oesophageal tissues, leading to strictures.
- Medications: Some medications, such as bisphosphonates, can cause inflammation and scarring of the oesophagus, leading to strictures.
- Infections: Certain infections, such as herpes simplex virus or cytomegalovirus, can cause inflammation and scarring of the oesophagus, leading to strictures.
The symptoms and treatment of oesophageal strictures can vary depending on the underlying cause. It is highly essential to seek medical attention if you are experiencing difficulty swallowing or other symptoms related to oesophageal strictures.
Risk Factors of Oesophageal Strictures
Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing corrosive oesophageal strictures. These include the following:
- Alcohol use: Drinking alcohol in excess can increase the risk of developing oesophageal strictures. This is because alcohol can irritate the oesophagus lining, leading to inflammation and scarring.
- Cancer in the neck area: Tumours in the neck area can put pressure on the oesophagus, leading to inflammation and scarring.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): GERD can lead to inflammation and scarring of the oesophageal tissues. Over time, this scarring can cause the oesophagus to become narrowed, leading to strictures.
- Hiatal hernia: A hiatal hernia develops when part of the stomach protrudes into the diaphragm and the chest. This can cause the lower oesophageal sphincter to become weakened, leading to GERD and an increased risk of oesophageal strictures.
- Peptic ulcer disease: Peptic ulcers are sores that develop on the stomach lining or duodenum. These ulcers can lead to inflammation and scarring of the oesophageal tissues, increasing the risk of strictures.
- A history of dysphagia: People with difficulty swallowing are at an increased risk of developing oesophageal strictures.
Comprehensive Diagnosis at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka
The diagnosis of oesophageal strictures typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests. Here are some common diagnostic methods:
- Medical history
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and any risk factors associated with oesophageal strictures.
- Physical examination
The doctor may perform a physical examination of your throat and neck to look for signs of inflammation, scarring, or narrowing of the oesophagus.
- Imaging tests
Imaging tests, including X-rays, CT scans, and barium swallow tests, may be used to visualise the oesophagus and identify any strictures or abnormalities. During a barium swallow test, you will swallow a contrast material that will make your oesophagus visible on X-rays.M
Endoscopy is a type of diagnostic procedure in which a flexible & thin tube with a camera on its end is inserted through the mouth into the oesophagus. This allows the doctor to visualise the oesophagus and take a biopsy if necessary.
This test measures the pressure and function of the oesophagus. It involves inserting a small, flexible tube through the nose and into the oesophagus to measure the pressure and muscle activity as you swallow.
Treatment of Corrosive Stricture Oesophagus at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka
The treatment for corrosive stricture of the oesophagus depends on the severity of the stricture and the underlying cause. The goal is to relieve symptoms, improve swallowing function, and prevent further damage to the oesophagus. Here are some common treatment options:
- Dilation: This involves using a special instrument to stretch the narrowed area of the oesophagus. Dilation is usually performed during an endoscopy procedure and may be repeated multiple times to achieve the desired result. This treatment can provide long-lasting relief of symptoms in many cases.
- Medications: Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers) may be used to reduce the amount of stomach acid and prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the oesophagus. These medications can help to reduce inflammation and promote the healing of the oesophageal tissues.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the damaged section of the oesophagus and rebuild it using healthy tissue from another body part. This is typically reserved for cases where other treatments have been unsuccessful.
- Nutrition management: People with severe oesophageal strictures may have difficulty swallowing and may need to modify their diet to avoid foods that can exacerbate their symptoms. A speech therapist or dietician can help develop an appropriate meal plan that meets nutritional needs while also minimising symptoms.
One of the most common causes of stricture in the oesophagus is GRED. To prevent GERD, you may need to make certain lifestyle changes:
- It is best to avoid spicy, fatty, tomato-based, or citrusy foods and caffeinated and carbonated beverages.
- Avoid consuming alcohol.
- Avoid Smoking
- Sleep or rest on an elevated pillow.
- Eat small meals, and avoid eating a few hours before bedtime.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
Corrosive stricture of the oesophagus is a serious medical condition. It is important to prevent exposure and manage any underlying conditions that can increase the risk of developing strictures.
If you are experiencing symptoms of oesophageal strictures, it is highly crucial to seek medical attention immediately. If you are seeking medical care for oesophageal strictures in Karnataka, Apollo Hospitals is a reputable healthcare provider with a range of specialities, including gastroenterology and digestive disorders. With state-of-the-art facilities, advanced technology, and experienced medical professionals, we at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka, are dedicated to providing the optimum level of care for patients suffering from oesophageal strictures and other medical conditions.