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Also known as: dilation.
Dilatation (also called dilation) is the process of opening up a narrow body part in order to restore its function or perform a medical procedure on it. The process of dilatation can be performed in different ways depending on which body part is affected.
Dilatation processes can vary widely depending on the body part that needs dilated. For example, in order to dilate the cervix, doctors will use progressively thicker rods to open it up for a procedure. Other parts of the body that are more difficult to access, such as the esophagus may be dilated with a balloon that is inserted through a scope or with a guidewire.
Preparation will vary based on the nature of the dilatation. You may need to avoid food, drink or medication for a set period of time before the procedure.
Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD
This page was last updated on: April 22, 2021 10:49 AM
Nicklaus Children's has implemented safety enhancements and screenings for our pediatric surgery patients. Learn more by clicking on the video.
Bile is a substance that helps with digestion, and it travels from the gallbladder to the intestines to help in this process via the bile ducts. If the bile ducts are too narrow, they can be opened up through a process known as biliary dilatation.
If a patient’s esophagus is too narrow, esophageal dilatation is a procedure that can be used to stretch and open it up. This is often used if swallowing food or liquid proves to be difficult.