The oesophagus (‘food tube’) can malfunction in a number of ways. Difficulty swallowing can be caused by problems of the oesophagus’ lining, such as bacterial or fungal overgrowth or irritation by stomach acid; its lumen (tube), such as the formation of webs, scars, narrow segments; and occasionally by lesions growing from the wall, such as benign or malignant tumours. The oesophagus can also be compressed externally by growths within the chest, such as enlarged lymph nodes; and can be affected by ‘whole body’ problems such as nerve or muscle weakness.
Using a combination of imaging studies and a painless flexible telescope examination (performed under local anaesthetic in the clinic), and often in consultation with your GP, gastroenterologist, speech and swallow therapist and dietician, your Evolve ENT surgeon will assist you in reaching a diagnosis and management plan. Occasionally a short general anaesthetic may be required, so your surgeon can assess your lower gullet (oesophagus) and the main lower airways within your chest.