The main treatment for esophageal stricture is a procedure to widen the esophagus called “esophageal dilation.” This is usually done during an endoscopy.
If you are having esophageal dilation, you will get some medicine to help you relax. Then the doctor can do the dilation in 1 of 2 ways:
- Using solid flexible tubes – In this procedure, the doctor puts a series of solid flexible tubes down your esophagus. He or she starts with a very narrow size and then inserts wider and wider ones until the esophagus is stretched open.
- Using a balloon – For this procedure, the esophagus stricture doctor puts a tube with a balloon on it through the endoscope into your esophagus. The balloon is then inflated to stretch the narrow part of the esophagus.
After having esophageal dilation, most people also need to start taking a medicine called a “proton pump inhibitor” (also called a PPI). PPIs stop the stomach from making acid and can help the esophagus heal and keep the stricture from coming back. PPIs include omeprazole (brand name: Prilosec), esomeprazole (brand name: Nexium), lansoprazole (brand name: Prevacid), pantoprazole (brand name: Protonix), and rabeprazole (brand name: AcipHex). Some PPIs are sold without a prescription.
Some people need more than one dilation if the esophagus is very narrow or if symptoms come back. If you still have problems with esophageal stricture after repeat dilations, there are other treatment options your esophagus stricture doctor might suggest. Read more about esophagus stricture here: Clevelandclinic & UCLA health