Upper endoscopy, EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy): A flexible tube with a camera on its end (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth. The endoscope allows examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (small intestine).
Esophageal pH monitoring: A probe that monitors acidity (pH) is introduced into the esophagus. Monitoring pH can help identify GERD and follow the response to treatment.
Barium swallow: A person swallows a barium solution, then X-ray films are taken of the esophagus and stomach. Most often, a barium swallow is used to seek the cause of difficulty swallowing.
H2 blockers: Histamine stimulates acid release in the stomach. Certain antihistamines called H2 blockers can reduce acid, improving GERD and esophagitis.
Proton pump inhibitors: These medicines turn off many of the acid-producing pumps in the stomach wall. Reduced stomach acid can reduce GERD symptoms, and help ulcers or esophagitis to heal.
Esophagectomy: Surgical removal of the esophagus, usually for esophageal cancer.
Esophageal dilation: A balloon is passed down the esophagus and inflated to dilate a stricture, web, or ring that interferes with swallowing.
Esophageal variceal banding: During endoscopy, rubber band-like devices can be wrapped around esophageal varices. Banding causes varices to clot, reducing their chance of bleeding.
Biopsy: Often done through an endoscope, a small piece of the esophagus is taken to be evaluated under a microscope.
Lang, I. GI Motility online, May 16, 2006.
Medicine Net: "Achalasia," "Gastrophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)," "Esophageal Cancer (Cancer of the Esophagus),"Schatzki Ring."
eMedicine: "Esophageal Webs and Rings," "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Treatment & Medication."