Schatzki's Ring or esophageal ring refers to a smooth and narrow ring of tissue in the lower end of the esophagus. It narrows down and blocks the esophagus. This esophageal ring is noticed among nearly 6% of the population. Schatzki's Ring is usually associated with long term damage due to stomach acid reflux. It can also occur due to a congenital defect. Schatzki's Ring is often associated with a hiatal hernia. Some chunks of food may get caught in the ring and lead to dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing large pieces of food). The degree of difficulty in swallowing depends on the extent of narrowing of the esophagus.It also results in chest pain under the sternum. But very often persons suffering from Schatzki's Ring are unaware of it.
A gastroenterologist can help in treating Schatzki's Ring. An EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) or barium swallow aid in diagnosing this condition. Endoscopic examination of the esophagus also helps in diagnosing Schatzki's Ring. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating soft food can help tackle this. Surgical dilation of esophageal ring with a mercury filled dilator (bougie) can offer relief. Dilators are passed into the mucosal ring to ease the symptoms. The lower esophageal ring tissue can be surgically removed too.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 21, 2018