Expert Care from Specialists in Esophageal Disorders
Disorders of the esophagus affect millions of Americans each year. The esophagus is a hollow tube made of muscle which moves food and liquid from the mouth and throat to the stomach. The most common symptoms of esophageal disorders are difficulty swallowing, heartburn and the movement of stomach contents back up through the esophagus into the mouth, known as regurgitation.
Swallowing problems occur when the nerves or muscles of the food passage (mouth, throat and esophagus) do not work correctly or when the food passage is physically blocked. The symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation occur when stomach acid and swallowed food or liquid move backwards into the esophagus or throat.
Esophageal disorders may also affect the lungs, nose and throat. This can result in persistent coughing, a sore throat that won't go away, sinus problems, hoarseness, continuous throat clearing or asthma that is difficult to treat. Esophageal disorders can also cause chest pain that feels very much like a heart attack.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, disorders of the esophagus can have serious consequences. Lack of enough food and water for good health may result from difficulties with swallowing. Pneumonia or life-threatening choking can occur if what is swallowed enters the windpipe instead of the esophagus (aspiration). Some esophageal disorders even make cancer of the esophagus more likely.
The Esophageal Center at Cedars-Sinai brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts to provide leading-edge diagnostic services and treatment of esophageal disorders. The team includes gastroenterologists, general and thoracic surgeons, swallowing therapists, radiologists, neurologists, pulmonologists, otolaryngologists and nurses. Our experts blend state-of-the-art technologies, compassionate care and the most up-to-date and effective treatments to serve patients.
In the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals issue, Cedars-Sinai once again ranked among America's best in Gastroenterology.