Steakhouse Syndrome 

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Let’s define it, at first. So, this is a very common disease nowadays and is characterized by food or anything that cannot smoothly go through the esophagus and is thus clogged in its lumen. This is a very common condition nowadays since it mostly occurs when people eat steaks, i.e. meat. 

How is it detected?  

Well, if you have eaten some kind of meat, no matter if it is steak, poultry, pork or similar, and sometime after that you have troubles to swallow some other food, well, you suffer from steakhouse syndrome. This is not a minor thing, and urgent medical reaction is needed. The problem mostly occurs among adults since they are the ones that usually eat meat. Apart from problems with swallowing, the ingestion is yet another signal that you have this condition. The most common ways to cure it is by taking drugs or having an endoscopy 

Causes & Symptoms 

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It can sometimes happen that the disease can be caused by the narrow passage of the esophageal lumen which would practically mean that a patient suffers from esophageal pathology. There are numerous syndromes connected to it, such as: eosinophilic esophagitis, esophageal malignancy, esophageal stricture, esophageal webs etc. it needs to be pointed out that this narrowness of esophagus is not common among children and when this syndrome appears with children, it is due to congestion in lumen that results from improper eating, such as eating your food very fast and not chewing it. What are the most common symptoms? Well, there are a lot of symptoms that should be monitored and notices, some of them include neck pain, chest pain, abdominal pain, asthma, heartburn, drooling and many more.  


If you have any of the abovementioned symptoms and if they occur temporarily, suddenly or are present during a longer period of time, especially if you experience the problems when you swallow food or drink liquids, this is the reason to ask for urgent medical treatment and help. In order to determine whether this syndrome is in question, the routine exam is endoscopy.  

How to treat it?  

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Since this is a potentially serious disease, it requires immediate and proper treatment. However, there are various factors that have to be taken into account when beginning the treatment itself. First of all, it should be determined what is causing the obstruction itself. Then, the anatomy of a patient needs to be taken into account. If we are talking about something sharp, well, it naturally requires immediate action in order to avoid even a bigger disaster. Sometimes, this may even require a surgery. There are even various techniques for resolving this issue, such as: 1) spontaneous ones – these are used to avoid endoscopy and the most precise term for it would be “push” since the object is pushed down the esophagus by using a nasogastric tube or Foley’s catheter for getting it out. 2) pharmacological ones – sometimes, the best solution for this issue is using medicines which can make the esophagus to get a bit wider and the food can then pass through. In some cases, it is recommended to use Coca-Cola or some other drinks that are carbonated. 3) endoscopic one – this is the ultimate technique since it is required to apply some of the endoscopic devices for the removal of the obstruction. Some of those may include forceps, Roth net, Dormia baskets etc. if there is food stuck there, the best way is to use Roth net and just catch all food there in the net and get it out.  


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How all of this can be avoided? Well, the most efficient way is to chew your food properly, i.e. to get smaller bites and to chew them slowly. If a patient is discovered to have some genetic anomaly of esophagus, then, he/she should have constant monitoring and controls to avoid steakhouse syndrome. We should just mention that 10-20^ of the patients who suffer from this are subjected to endoscopic intervention. We need to point out that surgery takes places in only 1% of the cases. It is needed to be mentioned that the symptoms and the illness should be taken seriously in order to avoid further complications and treatments.