Airway Dilation

Also known as: endoscopic airway dilation, tracheal dilation.

What is airway dilation?

If the subglottis or trachea are narrowed and leading to breathing problems, airway dilation is a potential treatment for these problems. The procedure involves using an endoscope to enlarge the airway.

What happens during the procedure? 

An endoscope, which is a long, thin, flexible tube, is inserted into the airway via the mouth. Once it reaches the narrow portion of the airway, a balloon on the endoscope is inflated in order to enlarge the airway. Scar tissue is sometimes also removed as part of the procedure.


Is any special preparation needed? 

The patient may need to avoid food, drink and certain medications prior to the procedure.

What are the risk factors? 

Infection, bleeding, airway swelling or damage to surrounding organs and tissues are potential risks of airway dilation.

Reviewed by: Brian Ho, MD

This page was last updated on: January 17, 2022 11:35 AM