Congenital oesophageal strictures are rare and are commonly associated with cartilaginous rings. Surgical intervention in congenital stenosis in shown to be beneficial with very good outcome. Acquired oesophageal strictures in children are related to severe gastro-oesophageal reflux, anastomosis and accidental ingestion of corrosive bleach or button batteries. Most oesophageal anastomotic surgery are actively followed up and monitored for stricture and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Early diagnosis and management is advocated. Only the resistant stricture may require surgical intervention. The outcome of acquired strictures is demanding and requires dedication to improve its long-term outcome. We advocate that after initial forced dilatation leaving an indwelling balloon is left at the site of stricture and the balloon is inflated three times daily with 15-20 cc of air. This may be easily taught to the parents, so they can do this at home. The dilatation is continued until the stricture has healed completely. Our experience with this management strategy has produced very good outcome of the difficult corrosive and resistant strictures and has avoided oesophageal replacement surgery.
KeywordsOesophageal stenosis Balloon dilatation Oesophageal atresia Lye burns Reflux esophagitis