How is esophagitis treated?

Updated: May 28, 2020
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Treatment begins with hemodynamic stabilization and pain management. Initial care is directed toward complications (eg, bleeding, perforation) that require hemodynamic stabilization. Admit the patient when significant bleeding, perforation, obstruction, or volume depletion occurs.

Chest pain of esophageal origin cannot be accurately distinguished from chest pain associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). Therefore, prehospital protocols should be followed for the management of chest pain potentially caused by CAD. When the cause of the pain is uncertain, oxygen is generally indicated.

Therapy after initial management depends on the cause of the esophagitis and on any complications present. Surgery (fundoplication) is sometimes indicated in patients with severe symptoms who fail to respond to medical management (eg, some patients with esophagitis and chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD]). [54]

In general, no particular dietary restrictions are necessary; however, if the patient has odynophagia or is unable to consume calories orally, then gastric feeding or parenteral feeding may be needed. (See also Diet.) No limitations on patient physical activity are necessary.

See Pediatric Esophagitis for complete information on this topic.

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