Esophageal Diseases

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

UT Southwestern Medical Center offers the most advanced diagnostic evaluations and treatments available to treat esophageal and swallowing diseases, including acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD), eosinophilic esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, and primary esophageal motility disorders such as achalasiadiffuse esophageal spasm, nutcracker esophagus, and ineffective esophageal motility.  

Experienced Gastroenterologists to Treat Your Esophageal Conditions

The esophagus is the tube that carries food and water to the stomach. Conditions that affect the esophagus can result in pain or trouble swallowing.

Approximately 19 million people in the U.S. have acid reflux, also known as chronic heartburn, caused by stomach acid moving upward from the stomach into the esophagus. Of those, an estimated 700,000 Americans suffer from Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition attributed to longstanding GERD.

At UT Southwestern, our specialists are experts at evaluating and treating patients who have experienced symptoms such as chronic heartburn, acid indigestion, or difficulty swallowing, as well as those who have already been diagnosed with an esophageal disease.

Evaluation for Esophageal Diseases

After a thorough clinic visit and complete examination, our gastroenterologists might recommend additional tests, including:

  • Endoscopy procedure, in which they use a tiny camera to evaluate the esophagus
  • Ambulatory 24-hour pH/impedance monitoring to quantify and characterize the patient’s reflux profile
  • Esophageal manometry to evaluate the function of the esophagus

Treatment for Esophageal Disorders

For many patients with GERD, medication and lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment. However, some patients need more than this and might be candidates for surgical options to treat the condition. Our doctors will take time to discuss each of these options and develop an individualized treatment plan. 

Through a multidisciplinary team of surgeons and motility specialists, UTSW offers procedures that include:

  • Antireflux surgery for GERD
  • Balloon dilation or Heller myotomy to disrupt a poorly relaxing lower esophageal sphincter muscle (LES) that occurs in patients with achalasia
  • Botox injection to LES

Our dedication to providing expert and compassionate care makes an important difference in our patients’ treatment and outlook on the future.