Shatsky ring in the esophagus

Shatsky ring in the esophagus

The esophagus is one of the most important sections of the gastrointestinal tract, as all food and liquid are transported through it. In this regard, the esophagus is constantly exposed to various kinds of damage and negative influences that can cause various pathologies. One of these diseases is the Shatsky ring in the esophagus, which is a benign neoplasm that impedes the passage of food.

In this article, we will take a closer look at this disease, describe the main symptoms, diagnosis, treatment methods, and also give some useful tips.

Attention! This article is not a direct guide to action. Do not start self-treatment without first consulting with your doctor or other qualified professional.

Description of the disease

Many have heard about such a phenomenon as the Shatsky ring, but what is it? This disease is a benign neoplasm in the esophagus in the form of a smooth mucous ring. The doctor, whose surname served as the name for this disease, studied pathological narrowing in the lower part of the esophagus. As a result, the flow of food and liquid into the stomach slowed down, which eventually provoked the accumulation of a large food coma.

The narrowing of the esophageal lumen is called stenosis or structure. Reliable reasons for the formation of this pathology are not fully understood.

Scientists and doctors identify several main and most probable:

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease;
  • frequent heartburn and vomiting;
  • various kinds of burns of the esophagus;
  • infectious diseases;
  • neoplasms of various etiologies in the stomach and esophagus;
  • long procedure of gastric and esophageal sounding;
  • foreign objects entering the gastrointestinal tract;
  • surgery on the esophagus or stomach;
  • radiation exposure (rarely);
  • congenital pathology.

Currently, the Shatsky ring is observed in approximately 6% of the total population of the planet. Most often, a person does not notice the manifestation of this disease until the last moment until serious problems with the passage of fluid and food begin.

Degrees of the disease

This disease is usually divided into 4 degrees of severity, where the main indicator is the level of narrowing of the esophagus, and the difficulty of passing food.

First degree

With this type of disease, the patient sometimes has difficulty swallowing solid food, as well as rare short-term pain in the esophagus and stomach.

Second degree

In this case, the passage of solid food is difficult, and the patient can only swallow liquid or semi-liquid food products, such as yogurt, various kinds of purees, kefir, cream soups, drinks, and so on.

Third degree

A strong narrowing of the esophageal lumen due to the Shatsky ring does not let in almost anything except liquid. Pain in the esophagus and stomach occur quite often.

Fourth degree

The extreme degree of narrowing. With this pathology, it is impossible for any liquid to pass through the esophagus, including saliva. Pain in the esophagus is observed constantly.

Must Read: The Four Stages of Dysphagia

Main symptoms

The symptoms of this disease are directly related to the degree of the course. For this reason, in the initial stages of the development of the Shatsky ring, the patient often does not notice it, even experiencing some difficulty in swallowing food and painful discomfort in the esophagus. With a narrowing of the esophagus from three to two centimeters in diameter, the passage of food can go unhindered. But if the ring narrows it even more, then the patient may experience the following symptoms:

  • difficulty in swallowing food;
  • pain in the esophagus;
  • feeling of heaviness and pressure in the chest;
  • nausea and urge to vomit;
  • frequent hiccups;
  • weight loss due to malnutrition;
  • deterioration of hair and skin;
  • general malaise;
  • depressed state;
  • depression;
  • nervousness and irritability.

If esophageal stenosis is a congenital pathology, then the main symptom of the disease will be regurgitation of milk that has not curtailed. There is also increased salivation and increased secretion of nasal mucus.

Recommendation! If the esophagus is blocked by a large food lump, the patient must artificially induce vomiting, and then immediately contact a qualified specialist. If the case is particularly severe, the doctor may use an endoscope to immediately alleviate the patient’s condition.

Diagnostic methods

Before starting treatment, it is necessary to find out the exact diagnosis of the disease. To do this, you must undergo a complete examination in a medical institution. To date, the most effective methods for diagnosing Shatsky rings are X-ray examination and gastroscopy.


Before the start of the procedure, a special suspension of barium sulfate is introduced into the patient’s body, which makes it possible to clearly examine the walls of the esophagus during fluoroscopy. By obtaining a clearer image, the doctor will be able to find the neoplasm with greater accuracy and make the correct diagnosis.

The X-ray procedure lasts an average of 40-50 minutes. After the end of the diagnosis, the patient needs to drink a sufficiently large amount of water to ensure the speedy removal of barium suspension.

X-ray examination makes it possible to distinguish Shatsky rings from a possible accidental protrusion of the walls of the esophagus or various foreign bodies.


This examination method is most often used to obtain an accurate visual image of the condition of the esophagus.

The endoscope is inserted through the oral cavity, followed by displaying a video of the esophagus on the monitor screen. This allows the pathology to be visualized with high image fidelity.

But this method has a significant drawback. The endoscopic tube can pass through the narrowed lumen of the esophagus with considerable difficulty. If there is a very large ring of Shatsky in the esophagus, the endoscope tube may not pass at all.

Read Also: How to make yourself burp?

Treatment of the disease

Depending on the severity of the pathology, two types of treatment are possible.

If the narrowing of the esophagus is insignificant, then at this stage the doctor prescribes a special therapeutic diet, which includes liquid and semi-liquid foods. Also in this case, it is recommended to chew food thoroughly, which will relieve pressure on the walls of the esophagus.

In the case of an advanced stage of the development of the disease, surgical intervention is necessary. The main method of this treatment is bougienage of the esophagus. This procedure is aimed at expanding Shatsky rings without surgical intervention.

A feature of this method is the use of a special probe (bougie) for direct expansion of the problem area of ​​the esophagus. The bougie is a cone-shaped probe with an optical device at the end. When it is introduced into the esophagus using a thin metal conductor, the bougie slowly and gently expands the ring, facilitating the patient’s condition. It is also possible to introduce an elastic bougie without the use of a conductor.

If the above methods do not bring the desired result, then in this case, surgical intervention is necessary.

Features of the treatment of congenital stenosis

In the case of congenital pathology in children, the bougienage procedure is most often performed with an elastic probe. This type of treatment is carried out three times. If the procedures do not bring the desired result, surgical operations are necessary.

Postoperative period

After the operation, the patient is forbidden to eat through the oral cavity for five days. Nutrition should be through a nasogastric tube. Intravenous administration of glucose, isotonic saline and blood plasma is also necessary.

After five days, it is possible to take medicinal decoctions, sweet tea and kefir. The volume of liquid should not exceed 200 ml at a time.

Starting from the eighth day, more food is allowed. It is not recommended to consume raw vegetables and fruits, fatty foods and carbonated drinks.

Important! When postoperative nutrition, beware of foods that irritate the esophageal mucosa.

Shatsky ring in the esophagus is an unpleasant and painful disease that can bring a number of painful problems with nutrition and the general condition of the body to a person. At the slightest manifestation of symptoms of this pathology, it is necessary to undergo a diagnosis and begin immediate treatment. We hope this article has helped you learn more about this disease and how to deal with it. Remember that no one will take care of your health better than yourself.

Read More: What to do if you accidentally drank milk before colonoscopy?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.