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Overview

Our dedicated team provides care and treatment for patients with swallowing and esophageal disorders. Diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract have a range of symptoms, some minor and resolving without treatment, others more severe and potentially chronic. From reflux to swallowing disorders or any conditions affecting the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine (also known as foregut), our team aims to provide patients with a comprehensive care plan.

Our multidisciplinary approach to care for these disorders involves coordination of evaluations and treatment plans with gastroenterologists, radiologists, ear, nose and throat (ENT) physicians, and other specialists to ensure the highest quality of care and most effective treatment for our patients.

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Locations

Specialty services are offered at our hospitals and ambulatory sites.

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Bridgeport Hospital

Additional Information

Signs of Swallowing and Esophageal Disorders

  • Chronic cough or hoarseness
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Chest pain (thought to be of esophageal origin)
  • Heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)

Swallowing and Esophageal Conditions

Some of the swallowing and esophageal conditions we treat include:

  • Esophageal motility disorders, including diffuse esophageal spasm (DES)
  • Esophageal strictures including Schatzki’s rings
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Hiatal hernias including paraesophageal hernias
  • Achalasia
  • Esophageal cancer

Swallowing disorders can occur at any age. They can be temporary or indicate a serious medical problem. There are many causes for swallowing problems including nerve and muscle problems, head and neck injuries, stroke or cancer.

Treatment for Swallowing and Esophageal Disorders

Early diagnosis and treatment are important in preventing long-term complications. Treatment includes drug therapy, esophageal dilation, reflux surgery and bariatric surgery. Minimally invasive surgical approaches are available for patients who require surgery for their condition. Our approaches include endoscopic, laparoscopic, and robotic surgical procedures that provide reduced scarring, quicker recovery and return to daily lifestyle.

Barium Swallow

A barium swallow test (also known as an esophagram) is a type of X-ray that takes video images of the esophagus. This helps see the esophagus in action while swallowing. For this exam, a solution with barium is swallowed to coat your esophagus to help better see your throat and esophagus.

This test can help find the cause or condition for symptoms including nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, unexplained weight loss or swallowing problems.
Some conditions include:

  • Achalasia
  • Blockages
  • Head, neck or esophageal cancer
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Inflammation
  • Muscular disorders
  • Swallowing disorders (such as GERD, Achalasia, dysphagia)
  • Tumors
  • Ulcers

Your gastroenterologist may refer you for a barium swallow test and it will be performed by a radiologist. This test may be part of a general upper gastrointestinal series of X-rays to screen for a range of causes.

Yale School of Medicine

Yale New Haven Health is proud to be affiliated with the prestigious Yale University and its highly ranked Yale School of Medicine.