Albert M. Harary, MD
Gastroenterologist located in Midtown East/Upper East Side, New York, NY
Difficulty swallowing saliva or food can indicate you have a serious medical issue. To protect your overall health, Dr. Albert M. Harary in New York City offers advanced diagnostic testing at his Manhattan practice in Midtown East to effectively determine the underlying cause of your swallowing issues. He also provides a range of treatment options based on your diagnosis to help you feel like yourself again. Learn more about the different swallowing disorders and how you can treat them by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.
Swallowing Disorders Q & A
This information is intended only to provide general guidance. It does not provide definitive medical advice. It is important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.
What are swallowing disorders?
There are a variety of esophageal motility disorders that can make it difficult for you to swallow (dysphagia). These disorders may be the result of muscle dysfunction, esophageal blockages, or neurological conditions like cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease.
Common swallowing disorders Dr. Harary treats include:
- Achalasia: a disturbance of esophageal muscle coordination
- Diffuse esophageal spasm: a condition where your entire esophageal muscle contracts at the same time, rather than contracting as food or saliva moves down the esophagus
- Nutcracker esophagus: a condition where the muscle contractions in the esophagus are too strong or prolonged
- Eosinophilic esophagitis: a common condition caused by allergic inflammation in the inner lining of the esophagus related to hay fever, asthma, or atopic dermatitis.
- Narrowing or scarring of the esophagus (strictures, rings, tumors)
Swallowing disorders can also be a side effect of other medical issues, such as scleroderma, a condition that causes damage to the body’s muscles, including the esophagus. Structural abnormalities in the esophagus from birth defects can also make it difficult to swallow.
In some cases, swallowing difficulties result due to the growth of tumors that may indicate esophageal cancer. You may be at increased risk for this type of cancer if you’re a smoker or use alcohol heavily, although esophageal cancer can affect anyone.
How are swallowing disorders diagnosed?
Dr. Harary offers a variety of diagnostic testing resources to achieve an accurate diagnosis. Testing may include esophageal manometry or an esophageal function test that measures the pressure and coordination of your esophagus muscles.
Other tests that can help Dr. Harary evaluate a swallowing disorder include an upper GI endoscopy (EGD), and an X-ray test called a video-esophagram, in which barium, a thick liquid, is swallowed while X-rays are taken of the chest and esophagus as the barium passes through.
What treatment options are available for swallowing disorders?
Depending on the cause of your swallowing disorder, Dr. Harary may recommend one or more treatment options to address your condition. He creates a custom treatment plan that addresses your specific needs to best restore your swallowing functionality.
Available treatment options include:
- Prescription medications
- Balloon dilation
- BotoxⓇ injections
Surgery may be useful when muscle abnormalities are present that make swallowing difficult. Dr. Harary can refer laparoscopic and other minimally invasive surgical options to correct problems and alleviate your symptoms.
To learn more about available options for diagnosing and treating swallowing disorders, schedule an appointment online or by calling Dr. Harary’s office directly.