Esophageal stricture, chronic: A long-standing narrowing or closure of the normal opening of the swallowing tube that leads to the stomach, usually caused by scarring from acid irritation. Chronic esophageal stricture is a common complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Several procedures are available for stretching (dilating) the strictures without having to resort to surgery. One procedure involves placing a deflated balloon across the stricture at the time of endoscopy. The balloon is then inflated, thereby opening the narrowing caused by the stricture. Another method involves inserting tapered dilators of different sizes through the mouth and into the esophagus to dilate the stricture.
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Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016