Esophageal web occurs when a thin, fibrous, mucous membrane forms across the throat.
Signs of an esophageal web include:
- Cracks in the corners of the mouth
- Painful tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
The web can be diagnosed with a barium swallow or upper GI endoscopy, in which a small camera attached to a tube is inserted in through the mouth to the esophagus. This allows the doctor to directly see the inside of the esophagus.
Treatment usually consists of opening up the throat so the web no longer blocks it. This can be done with a balloon introduced during upper GI endoscopy or with a long, flexible, tubular instrument called a dilator.