Esophageal Dysmotility

 

Esophageal dysmotility is a condition that impairs the efficiency of esophageal muscle contraction.  This leads to swallowing that takes much longer than expected.  Meals will often take twice as long as someone with normal esophageal contractility.  Usually this affects patients in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.

 

This is one of the most frustrating conditions that we treat because there are not a lot of good treatment options.  There is no surgery or medication that will improve symptoms.  The best management strategies are behavioral, meaning that patients can best learn to cope with esophageal dysmotility by learning to take small bites, have small but more frequent meals, take brief walks around the house during a meal, and washing swallows down with lots of liquid.