What is esophagus?

By | March 9, 2017

What is esophagus?

Esophagus is a hollow tube like muscular structure connecting mouth to the stomach and mainly resides in the neck and chest part f the body. It passes food from mouth to the stomach. Diseases of esophagus cause difficulty in deglutition, difficulty swallowing as well retrosternal pain or heaviness.

Common Diseases of Esophagus are: Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), Achalasia Cardia, Cancer Esophagus, Diverticulum of Esophagus, FB in Esophagus, Corrosive injury of Esophagus.


Gastro esophageal reflux disease also commonly known as reflux disease, is a disease condition in which food particles as well acid juice come back in the esophagus from stomach, which causes esophagus inner wall inflammation and redness, which produces symptoms of burning epigastrium and retrosternal burning and occasional regurgitation of food and acid in the mouth. The lower esophageal sphincter gets lax which causes above symptoms. Common causes of lax lower esophageal sphincter include bad life style, over weight / obesity, no exercise, etc. GERD is diagnosed by endoscopic examination of esophagus and stomach.

Treatment includes improves life style by regular exercise, avoid smoking, alcohol and tobacco chewing, avoid spicy and oily food, losing the weight if you are overweight, regular pranayam and meditation, small frequent diet and avoid junk foods.

When person develop hiatus hernia and severe reflux disease, may require anti reflux surgery, known as Fundoplication. This surgery performed by laparoscopic method to create new sphincter mechanism at lower end of the esophagus. Laparoscopic method reduces hospital stay and post operative pain.

Achalasia cardia

Achalasia is primarily a disorder of motility of the lower oesophageal sphincter. The smooth muscle layer of the esophagus has impaired peristalsis and failure of the sphincter to relax causes a functional stenosis or functional esophageal stricture. Patient presents with dysphagia, heaviness after meal, require more liquid after eating solid food, regurgitation etc.

Diagnosis can be made by Barium study of esophagus, Upper GI Endoscopy as well esophageal motility study (manometry).

Treatment includes medical drug therapy, endoscopic dilatation or surgery -cardiomyotomy. Surgery of achalasia cardia known as laparoscopic cardiomyotomy, in which stenosed part of the esophagus muscles are opened up to allow the food smoothly in to the stomach. Laparoscopic surgery has added advantage of less pain and reduced hospital stay.

Source: http://gisurgery.info

Dr. Sanjiv Haribhakti is a well known, senior and qualified GI surgeon from Ahmedabad, practicing for 17 years. He is a chairman of Haribhakti Education Foundation and having credit of 22 published papers in National & International indexed journals. Dr. Sanjiv Haribhakti is First M.Ch. GI surgeon of Western India.