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Connective Tissue Disorders & Autoimmune Diseases

Some connective tissue disorders and autoimmune diseases result in loss of smooth muscle and replacement by more firm scar tissue.  The esophagus can be affected by this as well. As a result, the esophagus loses the ability to squeeze over time and the muscular valve can also weaken.  The esophagus then becomes more like a “lead pipe” than a functional tube of muscle.  This may affect surgical treatment options.