The most common problem among swallowing problems is Dysphagia, that is, difficulty swallowing. Difficulty swallowing is known as discomfort in which the swallowing time is prolonged and it takes more force than usual to swallow. It can be seen that patients have difficulty during the ingestion of liquid or solid foods. In the type of swallowing difficulty called paradoxical dysphagia, the patient is; liquid food is more difficult to swallow than solids. Some people may also experience severe pain. In advanced cases of this health problem, swallowing may become impossible.
Common symptoms that may be accompanied by difficulty swallowing include:
- Pain during swallowing (odynophagia)
- Return of ingested nutrients
- HeartburnStomach acid or nutrients escape back into the throat
- Weight loss
- Complete loss of swallowing ability
- Feeling that the swallowed food is stuck in the throat or behind the breastbone
- Watering in the mouth, drooling
- Coughing and coughing during swallowing
Treatment of Swallowing Problems
Treatment of swallowing problems is done depending on the underlying cause. In the treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia, treatment options such as swallowing difficulty exercises and learning swallowing techniques are tried. Thanks to these applications, the patient; learns how to use the swallowing muscles. In addition, by learning about what is the most suitable position for swallowing, it can perform the swallowing process more comfortably. In the treatment of esophageal dysphagia, different techniques can be used.
In disorders such as achalasia and stricture, he inserts a balloon into the narrowed area of the esophagus. Thus, the relevant part is opened and the swallowing process is facilitated.In the treatment of esophageal spasms, muscle relaxants are the most commonly applied treatment. In cases such as esophageal tumors and diverticulum, different operations are performed.
Methods used in the surgical treatment of swallowing difficulties:
- Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy: This method is used in the treatment of achalasia patients, who are patients in whom the lower esophageal sphincter cannot relax. Thanks to the operation, the muscle that forms the sphincter is cut and relaxed.
- Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM): In this procedure, the doctor proceeds to the esophagus with the help of an endoscope. After that, he performs an incision under the inner surface of the esophagus. It then cuts through the lower sphincter, as in Heller’s myotomy. this method of treatment is used in the treatment of diseases such as achalasia, and scleroderma.
- Stent placement: It is applied to open the stenosis in the esophagus. A metal or plastic stent can be placed in a narrow area. Stents can be temporary. Instead, permanent stents may be preferred to solve conditions such as stenosis caused by esophageal cancer.