Treating Esophageal Dysphagia with Esophageal Dilation
Esophageal dysphagia is a condition in which the esophagus makes swallowing difficult. It can cause choking or coughing when eating or make you less likely to eat out of fear. Many patients with esophageal dysphagia begin to experience quality of life issues from the disorder, but there are treatment options available.
Symptoms of Esophageal Dysphagia
If you experience episodes of choking or coughing while eating, especially as or after you swallow, or if you feel like eating causes a gurgling or watery feeling in your throat, you may have esophageal dysphagia. Other symptoms of esophageal dysphagia include pain when swallowing, difficulty swallowing, feeling like you need to work very hard to swallow, or recurring pneumonia from food aspiration. Over time, you may experience weight loss from avoiding situations where you must eat. Your emotional and mental health may also be impacted.
Causes of Esophageal Dysphagia
While there are several causes of esophageal dysphagia, including neurological causes. Esophageal dysphagia can be the result of achalasia, which is the inability to relax the sphincter muscle, or by esophageal narrowing, due to inflammation from GERD. People with Parkinson’s disease, ALS, MS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease may also experience esophageal dysphagia as a complication.
Can Esophageal Dysphagia Be Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for esophageal dysphagia, including lifestyle and dietary changes. For conditions that are not corrected by diet and lifestyle changes, esophageal dilation is often a successful treatment. At Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC), our gastroenterologists have extensive experience in esophageal dilation treatment. This procedure can also be used to treat esophageal stricture (a narrow esophagus).
Is Esophageal Dilation Safe?
Most patients experience little or no discomfort during the procedure and enjoy a quick recovery. There are minimal side effects from the procedure, such as a temporary sore throat. If you are suffering from esophageal stricture and believe you may benefit from esophageal dilation, the first step is to consult with a skilled NYC gastroenterologist. Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC) is home to top NYC board-certified gastroenterology physicians, with extensive background in treating esophageal stricture with dilation. Call (212) 979-3237 or click here to submit a contact form.