Esophageal Stenosis, also known as esophageal strictures, describes the narrowing of the esophageal tube due to repeated inflammation and scarring of the mucosal tissue that lines the esophagus. Often, esophageal strictures are experienced in people with a disfunctional lower esophageal sphincter, which is meant to keep food from passing back upwards in the esophagus. The repeated exposure to stomach acid, cancer, radiation therapy, or motility disorders can lead to scarring in the esophagus, causing strictures.
Symptoms that are associated with esophageal stenosis include:
- Pain while swallowing
- The inability to swallow
- Frequent heartburn
- Acid reflux
- Coughing or gagging when swallowing
- And the sensation of food being stuck in the throat
One treatment strategy for esophageal stenosis is dilation, where a doctor uses a balloon to stretch or dilate the esophagus.
Feeding tubes may be necessary in extreme cases.
As a laryngologist, Dr. Rafii is an expert in treatment of swallowing disorders. The first step in treatment is to identify the cause, which can sometimes be complicated. Dr. Rafii is an expert in using non-invasive diagnostic tools such as Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) to help determine the cause of your swallowing problem. He is also one of only a handful of surgeons in Los Angeles trained in minimally invasive swallow restoration surgeries such as laser cricopharyngeal myotomy and endoscopic Zenker’s diverticulotomy. In office procedures for Esophageal Stenosis such as Vocal cord and airway steroid injections can also be performed by Dr. Rafii.