Pediatric Esophageal Strictures

At Children's Health℠, we treat more kids with esophageal strictures than almost any other pediatric hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our deep knowledge and expertise means we have some of the best pediatric specialists in Texas. We use advanced endoscopic procedures to provide the most effective and least invasive treatments for your child. We look forward to serving your family with compassionate, high-quality care.


Fax: 214-456-8005


F: 469-497-2511

Park Cities

Fax: 469-488-7001


Fax: 214-867-9511

Request an Appointment with codes: Gastroenterology (GI)

Refer a Patient

What are Pediatric Esophageal Strictures?

An esophageal stricture is a tight or narrowed area in the esophagus – the “food tube” that connects the mouth to the stomach. This condition can make it difficult for liquid and food to pass through the esophagus.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Esophageal Strictures?

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain when swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Spitting up food or liquids (regurgitation)
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing
  • Feeling of food getting stuck in the throat
  • Frequent choking on foods
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Unexpected weight loss

How are Pediatric Esophageal Strictures diagnosed?

Our pediatric gastroenterologists (specialists in digestive disorders) have extensive training and expertise in caring for children who have esophageal strictures. We use advanced testing to diagnose pediatric esophageal strictures, including:

  • Upper endoscopy. This test involves placing an endoscope (thin tube with a camera) into the mouth and down through the esophagus to view inside.
  • Esophagram (barium swallow or “upper GI”). For this procedure, your child will drink a special liquid that shows up on X-rays. We then take a chest X-ray, and the barium shows the shape and size of the esophagus more clearly.

What causes Pediatric Esophageal Strictures?

Typical causes of esophageal strictures in children include:

  • Injuries to the esophagus from accidentally swallowing small objects or harmful chemicals with lye, such as bleach, laundry detergents or batteries
  • Scar tissue from a previous surgery on the esophagus
  • Long-term use of a feeding tube
  • Conditions that damage or cause inflammation in the esophagus lining, such as long-lasting gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and eosinophilic esophagitis

How are Pediatric Esophageal Strictures treated?

At Children’s Health, our pediatric gastroenterologists usually treat esophageal strictures with a procedure called esophageal dilation . To start, we will insert an endoscope into your child’s mouth and down into the esophagus. We then insert a tiny, deflated balloon through the tube and inflate it just enough to stretch the narrowed area.

In some cases, we place a small tube-like device (stent) in the esophagus to keep it open as it heals. Our gastroenterologists remove the stent later in a follow-up procedure.

Our gastroenterologists may prescribe medication for your child to treat conditions that are causing the stricture, such as GERD or eosinophilic esophagitis.

Pediatric Esophageal Strictures Doctors and Providers

Our team of gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are highly trained and experienced in treating children with esophageal strictures. Our experts will work together to create the best care plan for your child and help relieve their discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the success rate of esophageal dilation?

    On average, esophageal dilation can successfully treat 80 to 90% of esophageal strictures in children.

  • How long does it take to recover after esophageal dilation?

    After esophageal dilation, your child’s throat may feel sore, but it usually improves within one day. Applying warm compresses or a heat pack may help ease discomfort.