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Digestive Disorders

Esophagus Transplants

06/15/2009

Question:

I am 40 years old. I`ve had acid reflux since childhood. in my teens i developed a scar tissue constriction and since then have had spells of food getting stuck, it happens now about every day. 2 longest periods were 24 hours each, generally though the blockage is relieved in less than 2 hours. I`ve had my esophagus dialated about 12-15 times in the last 18 or 19 years. 12-15 is a guess, i lost count a long time ago. Taken lots of other treatments also. Dialation doesn`t help anymore. My question is do you know of any success in making esophagus transplants. Seems like people are getting pig parts put in thier bodies a lot these days and i was thinking that a pig esophagus would work real nice for me, i`ve never seen a pig have trouble swallowing. Besides dialation is there any other treatment available? Thank you.

Answer:

Thank you for the question. Unfortunately in the case of the esophagus, a pig esophagus will only work in a pig.

There are other options to dilation that are surgical that vary from relatively minor procedures that open the stricture to procedures that involve removing most of the esophagus and/or replacement with a segment of small bowel.

The length of and site of the stricture modifies the various approaches.

In short, there are options to dilation and you should discuss this with your doctor and a surgeon who does this type of work.

For more information:

Go to the Digestive Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

D Roy Ferguson, MD D Roy Ferguson, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University