Esophageal Dilatation

Esophageal dilatation is a procedure used to increase the diameter or the functional capacity of your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. Adequate open area and flexibility of the esophagus are essential for food intake and digestion. The area can become narrowed or damaged through chronic acid reflux or previous esophageal illnesses. Sometimes, exposure to certain chemicals can narrow the esophagus.  Dilatation performed using an endoscope can lead to improved and more comfortable swallowing and intake of food.

Before your visit

Be sure to discuss all of your medications, both prescription and herbal treatments, with your doctor and plan how you should take your medications the day of your procedure. Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the procedure. Be sure you have someone who can be with you after the procedure to help you in your recovery. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions regarding your diet before the procedure.

Day of visit

Please arrive at the Endoscopy Center at the time indicated on your prep instructions. You will be greeted by our staff and asked to change into a gown.  Your medication and preparation for the procedure will be discussed. You will be given an intravenous line for fluids and sedation to relax you during the procedure. The procedure will be performed by your physician in a specialized room. You will be monitored during the procedure. The stricture in your esophagus will be located, biopsies may be taken, and a dilator will be placed to widen the narrow area. The procedure takes 15-30 minutes.

After your visit

You will be monitored in the recovery room until you can swallow easily. You should return home and rest.  You may slowly return to your regular diet.  Follow all of your doctor's recommendations about medication and follow-up care. You may not drive for 24 hours. Signs of complications include fever, chills, coughing up blood, pain in chest, and severe nausea and vomiting. Call your physician immediately if any of these problems are encountered.