Conditions and Treatments

Conditions affecting the esophagus (tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach) can be disruptive to your life. At Henry Ford Health System, our highly skilled team of gastroenterology experts offers the most comprehensive and advanced treatments for a wide range of esophageal disorders.

We are dedicated to providing high-quality treatment to relieve your symptoms and help you get back to your daily activities.

Conditions we treat

The Henry Ford team has extensive expertise in treating esophageal conditions, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A condition in which the lower esophageal sphincter (muscle at the end of the esophagus) does not close properly, allowing food and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus
  • Barrett’s esophagus: A complication of GERD in which the chronic presence of stomach acid causes the esophagus to develop precancerous cells
  • Achalasia: A condition in which the lower esophageal sphincter does not open properly, making it difficult for food to pass into the stomach
  • Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus caused by acid reflux, infection or side effects of certain medications
  • Esophageal cancer

Henry Ford: Diagnosis for esophageal disorders

To confirm a diagnosis, our gastroenterologists (physicians who specialize in treating diseases of the digestive tract) use the most advanced diagnostic tests including:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Esophageal pH acidity test: A test that measures the amount of acid flowing from the stomach into your esophagus
  • Manometry test: A test that evaluates how well your esophagus is working by examining the strength and patterns of the muscles in your esophagus
  • Endoscopy: A procedure using an endoscope (thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera) that allows the physician to examine your esophagus, including its size, color and texture of the lining

Treatments for GERD and esophageal disorders at Henry Ford

Our physicians have expertise in comprehensive treatment options for any esophageal disorder. After we confirm a diagnosis, we develop a customized treatment plan for you.

Depending on your specific case, your treatment options may include medication and changes to your diet to manage symptoms. We also offer advanced minimally invasive endoscopy procedures, during which we can often diagnose and treat the condition at the same time. We use an endoscope with micro instruments to perform procedures including:

  • Injections of botulinum toxin to reduce muscle spasms within the esophagus and relieve pain.
  • Endoscopic removal of tissue for biopsy or complete removal of cancer lesions.
  • Balloon insertion to stretch the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.
  • BARRx system to remove the damaged lining of the esophagus. Learn more about the BARRx system for patients with Barrett’s esophagus.

Learn more about how we treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal disorders at Henry Ford.

Surgery for esophageal disorders

Depending on the esophageal condition that you have, surgery may be your best treatment option. At Henry Ford, our gastroenterology surgeons are skilled and highly experienced in performing esophageal surgery to help you enjoy a better quality of life.

We work closely with our colleagues in General Surgery and the Cancer Center. We collaborate and talk with you to develop the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

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