Esophageal Rings And Webs
What Is It?
Esophageal rings and webs are folds that block your esophagus either partially or completely. Rings are bands of normal esophageal tissue that form constrictions around the inside of the esophagus. They occur in the lower esophagus. Webs, which arise in the upper esophagus, are thin layers of cells that grow across the inside of the esophagus. Either condition may make it difficult to swallow solid food.
Experts aren't sure what causes esophageal rings and webs. The condition may be congenital (inherited) or may develop after birth. People with esophageal rings and webs commonly have reflux symptoms. When esophageal webs occur together with iron deficiency anemia the condition is known as Plummer-Vinson syndrome.
Most esophageal rings and webs do not cause any symptoms, and are discovered when people have barium X-rays or endoscopy for unrelated reasons. When rings or webs do cause symptoms, the most common complaint is difficulty swallowing solids. Foods, especially meats and breads, may feel like they get stuck in the same place.