Oesophageal Stricture Following Corrosive Poisoning

Oesophageal Stricture Following Corrosive Poisoning

Overview

This is a condition caused by corrosive poisoning due to the consumption of corrosive agents like alkalis or acids that damage the GI tract. The extent of damage and perforations depends upon the concentration of the acid or alkali. Corrosive poisoning has a devastating effect on the GI tract which comprises of larynx, oesophagus and the stomach.

Signs and symptoms

There are chances of massive bleeding from the stomach due to haemorrhage after ingestion of corrosive agents. Abdominal pain or chest pains are some of the initial symptoms that occur in such cases and they should be further investigated for diagnosing Oesophageal Strictures.

Causes and risk factors

Important factors that contribute to the severity of the condition are the time or duration of contact with the corrosive agent, the nature of the agent, the quantity of the intake etc.

Complications

Dysphagia, malignant transformations, substernal pressure, are the main complications that generally arise in patients with corrosive poisoning. In most cases, it takes more than three weeks for the complications to appear as patients are asymptomatic for the first fifteen days after infection.

Diagnosis

Barium swallow, Upper endoscopy (EGD) are the procedures used to diagnose and evaluate the Oesophageal Strictures.

Surgery

Suggested treatment in cases of Oesophageal Strictures is the replacement of the damaged oesophagus. This is known as Oesophageal Resection or Oesophagectomy and the oesophagus may be removed fully or partially depending on the severity of the ailment. In the case of complications such as Gastric Necrosis, Total Gastrectomy is advised which involves removal of the stomach, nearby lymph nodes, part of the oesophagus and part of the small intestines.

Prevention

Oesophageal damage happens when the corrosive substance ingested is either acidic or alkali in nature. Acid ingestion in cases of adults happens mostly due to suicidal efforts and in case of children due to accidental ingestion. Corrosive materials should be stored where access is limited.

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