A problem with swallowing is termed dysphagia. If swallowing is painful, the medical term used is odynophagia.
Difficulty swallowing food requires investigation sooner rather than later. Any obstruction to the swallowing tube is a problem. This can sometimes occur following trauma or excessive vomiting, but if there is no obvious reason, it requires endoscopy to get a correct diagnosis.
There may be accompanying symptoms such as vomiting blood, coughing blood or weight loss and it is important to get an ENT Specialist involved. He or she will take a full history before examining the neck, mouth nose,and then the throat.
An ENT Specialist can perform endoscopy in the outpatient clinic but if this fails to show the cause of the problem it may be necessary to arrange a further procedure called a 'pharyngo-oesophagoscopy'. This can be performed under a general anaesthetic if a 'rigid' tube is used, but if a flexible tube is used, it is usually performed with the patient awake and mildly sedated or with a local anaesthetic.
However the examination is done, it is important that it is performed so that an accurate diagnosis is arrived at and treatment can commence.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Mr Banerjee to look into this condition further please contact us.