Cricopharyngeal Dysfunction: Difficulty Swallowing, Especially Solid Foods
Dr. Bastian explains this progressive swallowing problem, and presents options for treatment. Cricopharyngeal dysfunction is caused by failure of relaxation of the upper esophageal sphincter—cricopharyngeus muscle—during eating. Typically it is solid foods that tend to lodge in the mid-neck area where this muscle is located.
Cricopharyngeal Dysfunction: Before and After Cricopharyngeal Myotomy
This video shows x-rays of barium passing through the throat, first with a narrowed area caused by a non-relaxing upper esophageal sphincter (cricopharyngeus muscle), and then after laser division of this muscle. Preoperatively, food and pills were getting stuck at the level of the mid-neck, and the person was eating mostly soft foods. After the myotomy (division of the muscle), the patient could again swallow meat, pizza, pills, etc. without difficulty.
See also: cricopharyngeal dysfunction in the encyclopedia.