The old procedure known as the treatment of esophageal stricture is the pushing of “string of whale” similar to a modern dilatator. The first written record is from the 17th century by an Italian anatomist Fabricius ab Aquapendente who lived in Bejaia, a city in Algeria; he used a wax bougie in place of a dilatator. The first bougienage procedure in esophageal strictures was published in 1821. The normal esophageal diameter is between 20–30 mm, and if the diameter is less than 12 mm, the dysphagia symptom becomes evident. The symptoms disappear when the diameter becomes larger than 15 mm. Peptic esophagitis (70%–80%), anastomotic strictures, trauma, radiation treatment, and caustic burn were the frequent causes of stricture. The physical examination did not offer a clue in terms of cause of stricture. It is important to evaluate the nutrition status of a patient. The barium contrast passage completed by endoscopic evaluation are important in diagnostics; by a sequence in the function of grading of stricture, an initial treatment with aggressive proton pump inhibitor (PIP) is preferred. After the bougie and balloon dilatation and in cases with persistent strictures, corticosteroid injection and self-expanded stents will be used. The expanding stents will never be used as the fırst option and will be used only after multiple dilatations. Although PIP and bougie dilatations are used with good results in simple strictures, the complex strictures, particurarly in which the guiding wire does not progress through strictures, a percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG) is performed and the stricture is retrogradely aborted. The complications of dilatation procedure are up to 0.1%–0.3% perforation and bleeding of less than 0.2%. In difficult strictures, covered and uncovered metallic or nonmetallic stents are used. Despite careful indications, there are many complications such as stent migration, severe thoracic pain, bleeding, perforation, gastroesophageal reflux, stent obstruction, and fistula development. Endoscopic stricturoplasty and surgical resection are alternative treatments in the treatment of diffıcult strictures. In many studies, the progressive dilatation up to 40–60 F is with less complication, and 85% of the patients improved; however, 30% of these patients were recurrent, and 60% of the patients without anti-secretory treatment were recurrent after one year of follow-up. The success of surgical resection is related to the experience of surgical center and is generally approximately up to 77%. The requirement of dilatation after surgery is between 1% and 43%, and one to two sessions are needed. (JAREM 2016; 6: 1-14)

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