Esophagitis is a general term for swelling, irritation, or inflammation of the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food from the back of the mouth to the stomach. Those with esophagitis may experience heartburn, difficulty swallowing, or even chest pain. If not treated, ulcers or scarring may develop in the esophagus, potentially causing permanent damage. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which forces acid from the stomach to flow back up into the esophagus, is the most common cause of esophagitis. Other causes include hiatal hernias, vomiting, allergies, viruses, and an infection in the lining of the esophagus. Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, as well as certain antibiotics and vitamin and mineral supplements, also can cause esophagitis.


UAB Medicine is known worldwide as a leading center for digestive and liver disorders. Our Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgery program is consistently recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report. We see more than 20,000 patients and perform more than 12,000 outpatient procedures annually.

Our Digestive Health Center combines gastroenterology care, GI surgery, and a wide range of advanced diagnostic and support services in a convenient location for our patients. The center is staffed by specialists in gastroenterology, radiology, and GI surgery, all of whom work together as a diverse team of digestive health experts. UAB gastroenterologists use the most up-to-date technology to diagnose and treat GERD accurately and thoughtfully. Our GI surgeons are experts in treating GERD using modern treatment options, and they perform over 100 laparoscopic or robotic operations for GERD each year.






UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

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