- Schatzki Ring (Schatzki's Ring) Center
- Heartburn Slideshow: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
- Digestive Disease Myths
- Take the GERD Quiz
- Patient Comments: Schatzki's Ring - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Schatzki's Ring - Treatment
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What is a Schatzki ring?
Many years ago, Schatzki described a smooth, benign, circumferential, and narrow ring of tissue in the lower end of the esophagus (the food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach). These rings are located just above the junction of the esophagus with the stomach. These rings are common. The cause of these rings is not clearly understood, while some doctors believe they are caused by long term damage from stomach acid reflux.
What are symptoms of a Schatzki Ring?
The majority of these rings cause no symptoms, and patients are unaware of their presence. When the opening of the esophagus becomes smaller as the diameter of these rings shrink, solid, poorly chewed food (such as steak, turkey, frankfurter) that stays in chunks can get caught at the level of the ring. This occurs when the diameter of the ring reaches approximately 1 cm. The patient then experiences chest pain, or sticking sensation in the chest with swallowing (referred to as dysphagia). If the chunk of food passes into the stomach, these symptoms subside quickly and the patient can resume eating. If the food does not pass into the stomach, some patients have to induce regurgitation of the food by sticking their finger in the back of their throat before they can resume eating.
Rarely, the food becomes impacted (the food cannot pass nor can it be regurgitated). These patients experience continued chest pain and difficulty swallowing saliva and secretions. A flexible endoscope has to be inserted through the mouth into the esophagus to extract the impacted food to relieve the obstruction.
Quick GuideHeartburn: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
How is a Schatzki Ring diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Schatzki ring can usually be made by barium x- ray examination of the esophagus; however, a narrow ring can be missed on x-ray. In patients with symptoms of dysphagia, doctors usually also order an upper endoscope examination. Endoscopy is the best way of diagnosing a Schatzki ring. During the endoscopy, a flexible viewing tube is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. It allows a direct view of the inner lining of the esophagus and the stomach. The test helps to exclude early cancer, esophagitis, and Barrett's esophagus.
What treatment is for Schatzki Ring?
Management of these rings involves procedures that will stretch or fracture these rings, thus allowing freer passage of solid food. Stretching or fracturing can be performed with endoscopes or tapered dilators inserted through the mouth, also by deflated balloons that are placed across the ring and are then blown up. Open surgery is hardly ever necessary to handle these rings.
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Guelrud, Moises, M.D. "Management of benign esophageal strictures." UptoDate.com. Updated Feb. 8, 2016.
Top Schatzki Ring Related Articles
Barrett's EsophagusBarrett's esophagus occurs as a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), primarily in white males. GERD refers to the reflux of acidic fluid from the stomach into the esophagus (the swallowing tube), and is classically associated with heartburn. Learn the symptoms, causes, and treatments for Barrett's esophagus.
EndoscopyEndoscopy is a broad term used to described examining the inside of the body using an lighted, flexible instrument called an endoscope. Endoscopy procedure is performed on a patient to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum; and look for causes of symptoms such as:
- abdominal pain,
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Eosinophilic EsophagitisEosinophilic esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus. Eosinophilic esophagitis has many causes including acid reflux, heartburn, viruses, medications that become stuck in the esophagus, allergy, asthma, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms include difficulty swallowing food, abdominal pain, chest pain, and heartburn.
Esophageal CancerEsophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the esophagus. Risk factors of cancer of the esophagus include smoking, heavy alcohol use, Barrett's esophagus, being male and being over age 60. Severe weight loss, vomiting, hoarseness, coughing up blood, painful swallowing, and pain in the throat or back are symptoms. Treatment depends upon the size, location and staging of the cancer and the health of the patient.
Esophagitis is caused by an infection or irritation of the esophagus. Infections that cause esophagitis include candida yeast infection of the esophagus as well as herpes. Signs and symptoms of esophagitis include:
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FundoplicationFundoplication is a surgical procedure for treating GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The procedure is to help GERD symptoms including heartburn. Eighty percent of patients with GERD also have a hiatal hernia, and during the fundoplication procedure, the hernial sac may also be surgically fixed. The procedure can be done with laparotomy, thoracotomy, or laparoscopy.
GERD PictureThe stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by stomach acid and enzymes. See a picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) and learn more about the health topic.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are:
- regurgitation, and
Take the GERD QuizWho is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about it.
Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include chest pain, burning in the throat, difficulty swallowing, the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and a burning feeling in the chest.
Causes of heartburn include dietary habits, lifestyle habits, and medical causes.
Treatments for heartburn include lifestyle changes, OTC medication,prescription medication, and surgery.
Heartburn Foods SlidesLearn the symptoms of heartburn and which foods cause heartburn or GERD. Discover home remedies and which foods may provide treatment for heartburn relief.
Prilosec omeprazole vs Nexium esomeprazolePrilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) are both proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to control production of stomach acid. Overproduction of stomach acid is a chief factor in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other digestive disorders. Prilosec and Nexium are nearly identical on a molecular level, but Nexium is the more potent medication. Learn about dosages, side effects, and pregnancy safety information for these medications.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce the production of acid in the wall of the stomach (that produces acid) thereby preventing ulcers and assists in the healing of ulcers that exist on the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum. PPIs are prescribed for the prevention and treatment for acid-related conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. PPIs may also be used in combination with antibiotics for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori. Examples of proton pump inhibitors approved in the U.S. include:
- aspirin and omeprazole (Yosprala)
- dexlansoprazole (Dexilent, Dexilent Solutab)
- esomeprazole (Nexium, Nexium IV, Nexium 24 HR)
- esomeprazole magnesium/naproxen (Vimovo)
- lansoprazole (Prevacid, Prevacid IV, Prevacid 24-Hour)
- omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC)
- omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate (Zegerid, Zegerid OTC)
- pantoprazole (Protonix)
- rabeprazole (Aciphex, Aciphex Sprinkle)
Common side effects of PPIs include:
- Gas (flatulence)
- Abdominal pain
Proton pump inhibitors interact with few drugs.
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The Digestion Process (Organs and Functions)Digestion is the complex process of turning the food you eat into the energy you need to survive. The digestive process also involves creating waste to be eliminated, and is made of a series of muscles that coordinate the movement of food. Learn more about digestion and the body parts that make it possible, including the:
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- liver, and
Upper GI SeriesAn upper gastrointestinal GI series, or barium swallow is a test used in assisting in the diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal diseases or conditions such as:
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