What treatment is available for scarring in the esophagus?

Patricia Raymond, MD
Some people with esophageal reflux, which is the repeated flow of acid and gastric contents up the esophagus with related burning, develop scarring in the esophagus from the irritation. This scarring, which causes the esophagus to narrow and to catch solid food, is called a stricture of the esophagus.

Usually when strictures are found, we dilate the esophagus at the time of your upper endoscopy. At the same time, we either start or increase your drugs that reduce the amount of acid that the stomach makes. Usually the acid reduction will keep the stricture from occurring again, but not always.

If your reflux is so bad that even double doses of acid-suppressing medicine doesn’t eliminate your chest burning, or your swallowing difficulty comes back, we consider antireflux surgery. The surgery, called a Nissan Fundiplication, actually does involve “wrapping the stomach around the esophagus.”

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