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What is Esophagus Tissue?

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  • Written By: Alex Said
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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Esophagus tissue is the tissue that forms the lining of the esophagus, the long tube that is connected to the pharynx at the top end and to the stomach at the bottom end. It is the primary mode of transport of ingested food or liquids from the mouth to the stomach for chemical breakdown. The esophagus is under involuntary control, so humans do not have a conscious control over its functions. It makes up one part of the gastrointestinal system and is one of the digestive organs located within the body.

Epithelium consists of any tissue that lines the surface of structures and organs of the body. The type of epithelium can be characterized either as simple or striated epithelium and then further sub-categorized as squamous, cuboidal or columnar tissue. The difference between the two categories is the layering of the epithelial tissue, and the difference between the sub-categories has to do with the shape of the epithelial cells. Esophagus tissue consists of stratified squamous epithelium and is controlled by smooth muscle. It consists of many layers of muscle and epithelia as well as glands, all of which help in maximizing its efficiency.

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Many people become aware of the esophagus only when a form of injury to the organ occurs. Such injuries could be as superficial as ingesting something too hot or too cold, resulting in damage to the esophagus tissue. More serious problems, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), could result.

GERD results when the band of muscle surrounding the esophagus at the point where it meets the stomach fails to contract and close. When this occurs, the stomach acid that develops during the chemical breakdown of food will leak into the esophagus. This causes irritation and damage to the esophagus tissue, which can lead to more infection, jeopardize health and potentially lead to serious health problems such as cancer. There is wide variability among people regarding this condition and how drastic its effects are or have been on the patient, which can result in treatment ranging from over-the-counter medication to surgery to correct the problem.

Another condition that can affect the esophagus tissue is called Barrett’s esophagus. This condition affects the lining of the esophagus, and it typically is a complication of GERD. Although cases of Barrett’s esophagus are rare, it can still potentially be a precursor of cancer, and patients suffering from Barrett’s esophagus should seek medical help.

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Oceana
Post 4

I become very aware of my esophagus tissue every time I have heartburn. It feels like a knife is stabbing me in the chest, and I know that my stomach acid is eating away at the tissue.

I don’t have heartburn all that often, but when I do, I reach for an antacid. I’m always amazed at how efficiently these pills take away my pain.

I don’t think that my esophagus tissue has been significantly damaged by acid reflux, simply because I don’t have it every day, like some people. If I did, I would take preventive medicine.

seag47
Post 3

@Perdido - I guess my brother’s case wasn’t as advanced as your dad’s, because he got treatment without having to have his esophagus removed. The doctor did something called radiofrequency ablation.

An electrode-filled balloon was inserted into his esophagus. The doctor would use it to deliver quick bursts of energy. This would destroy his damaged esophageal tissue.

The only downside is that he has to have frequent checkups. Since he didn’t have his esophagus removed, there is still a good chance that the condition could come back.

It has been six months since the procedure, and so far, he has a clean bill of health. There will always be a risk that he could have a recurrence, and monitoring the situation is essential to preventing esophagus cancer in the future.

Perdido
Post 2

Barrett’s esophagus can be extremely disturbing. My dad developed this, and his was a rare case, because he had never suffered from heartburn.

He wouldn’t have known that he had it if he hadn’t started vomiting blood and having chest pain. His doctor inserted a tube down his esophagus, and he found that the tissue was abnormal.

It is supposed to be smooth and pale, but his was red. The doctor told him that it would be best if he got most of his esophagus removed, and the remainder connected directly to his stomach.

kylee07drg
Post 1

My friend has something called esophageal strictures. His esophagus gets too narrow because of damage from acid reflux, and he gets food stuck in there often.

It doesn’t keep him from breathing, but it does hurt. He has had to force himself to vomit a few times to get the lodged food out.

One time, it just wasn’t working, so he had to go to the hospital. After they retrieved the food, they did surgery to widen his esophagus. He now has to keep his acid reflux in check, because if he doesn’t, the procedure will have been done for nothing.

Some people have to have this widening done several times in their lives. It is so important for them to take proper medication to prevent the damage that causes this in the first place.

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