Esophageal Web

Esophageal web occurs when a thin, fibrous, mucous membrane forms across the throat.

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Symptoms

Signs of an esophageal web include:

  • Anemia
  • Cracks in the corners of the mouth
  • Painful tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing
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Diagnosis

The web can be diagnosed with a barium swallow or upper GI endoscopy, in which a small camera attached to a tube is inserted in through the mouth to the esophagus. This allows the doctor to directly see the inside of the esophagus.

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Treatments

Treatment usually consists of opening up the throat so the web no longer blocks it. This can be done with a balloon introduced during upper GI endoscopy or with a long, flexible, tubular instrument called a dilator.