Health Tips for Seniors

Diverticulum and Stricture of the Esophagus

Diverticulum of the Esophagus. A diverticulum is a ballooned-out weak spot on the esophagus, usually in the neck level, and may cause swallowing difficulty when food lodges in it. This difficulty does not completely obstruct the swallowing tube, but often goes on giving difficulty for a long time. An x-ray examination is usually required to identify it, and treatment is often unnecessary.

Stricture of the Esophagus. Stricture of the esophagus is simply a narrowing of the swallowing tube, partly obstructing its channel. Strictures in the over fifty group are usually the result of a scar which contracts, as all scars do. The scars are the result of an ulceration type disease of the swallowing tube, possibly from many years of heartburn (esophagitis). Experienced medical attention is necessary for adequate care.


Fig. 44. A diverticulum, a blind pouch of the esophagus, develops through weakening disease processes. It fills with food and may cause vomiting, choking or pain. It can be corrected surgically if necessary.


Fig. 45. Esophageal stricture is usually a result of scar contracture, possibly caused in early years by swallowing corrosive liquid. It also may result in later years from long-standing irritation, such as heartburn, and of course, also accompanies cancer and other growths within its lumen.

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