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The oesophagus is a tube that carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Peptic stricture is a condition in which the oesophagus narrows causing difficulty or pain while swallowing, regurgitation of food (backflow of the food from stomach into the oesophagus or mouth) and unexplained weight loss.

Peptic stricture can be caused due to:

  • Gastro oesophageal reflux disease: condition in which the stomach contents leak back from the stomach into the oesophagus
  • Injury while undergoing an endoscopy (diagnostic procedure that involves the insertion of a narrow tube through your mouth to examine the digestive tract)
  • Extended use of a nasogastric (NG) tube: feeding tube inserted through your nose, into your stomach
  • Swallowing household cleaners or battery acid that may harm the oesophagus lining
  • Treatment of oesophageal varices: enlarged oesophageal veins that bleed

Peptic stricture can be diagnosed with the help of an endoscopy or by barium swallow, which involves the ingestion of a barium solution followed by X-ray imaging.

Treatment involves relieving symptoms by administration of acid-blocking medication. Dilation of the oesophagus is also a procedure for treating peptic stricture. Surgery may be advised if medications and dilation are unsuccessful in treatingpeptic stricture.


  • Medical Board of Australia
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Gastroenterological Society of Australia
  • American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • American Gastroenterological Association
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