Esophageal Dilatation

Also known as: esophageal dilation.

What is esophageal 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.

What happens during the procedure?

An X-ray is used for guidance during the procedure. As the patient lies under general anesthesia, a wire is guided through the mouth and down the esophagus. A balloon is inflated on the wire in order to stretch and open up the esophagus.

Is any special preparation needed?

You may need to avoid food, drink or medication for a set period of time before the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection, inflammation or perforation of the esophagus are potential complications of esophageal dilatation.

Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: April 06, 2021 10:13 AM

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