Esophageal Dilation Procedure in NYC
What is esophageal dilation?
An esophagus dilation, also known as esophageal stricture treatment, is used to dilate (widen) a narrowed esophagus. This constriction of the esophagus can prevent food and drink from passing through to the stomach. This narrowing is not uncommon and can happen for a number of reasons.
Common causes for narrowing of the esophagus include:
- Scarring from acid reflux
- Scarring from ingestion of caustic chemicals
- Fibrous growths also known as Schatzi’s ring
- Spasms called achalasia
Why is esophagus dilation performed?
An esophagus dilation is used to correct esophageal stricture or the narrowing of the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.
Symptoms that are most commonly experienced by patients suffering from esophageal stricture include:
- Sensation that something is “stuck” in the throat
- Trouble swallowing food that may get worse over time
- Chest pain or discomfort while eating
- Regurgitation of food or liquids
- Weight loss
- Coughing, especially at night
Esophageal stricture may be caused by:
- Acid reflux / gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Other esophagus motility disorders
- Swallowing harmful substances
- Damage caused by nasogastric tube or endoscopy
- Radiation therapy to the chest or neck
What does esophageal dilation involve?
At Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC), our gastroenterologists have extensive experience in esophageal dilation treatment. There are several methods of esophageal dilation. The simplest involve inserting a series of flexible tubes into the esophagus to break the stricture that is blocking the esophagus. Another method involves inserting a special balloon that is inflated once it is in place. When treating achalasia, a larger esophagus dilation balloon is used to stretch and break the spasming muscle fibers.
During the procedure, you will be in a seated position. The only anesthetic necessary when having a simple esophageal dilation is a topical spray that is applied inside the throat before the procedure. In these cases, the procedure should take only a few minutes. You should be able to return to your normal eating and drinking activities within a very short time. In cases where an x-ray is needed during the procedure, your doctor will perform your esophageal dilation in an x-ray unit.
If your doctor is performing an upper endoscopy at the same time as your esophageal dilation, the procedure will usually be done under sedation in an endoscopy suite. If you will be sedated, you will also need to arrange for someone to escort you home from the procedure.
There are rarely any complications from esophagus dilation. In most cases, treatment is immediately successful, allowing you to eat and drink without a problem a short time after the procedure.
What are the advantages of esophagus dilation?
The benefits of treating esophageal stricture with an esophageal dilation procedure include:
- Quick recovery
- Little discomfort or pain during the procedure
- Relieves discomfort of esophageal stricture
- Minimal side effects in most cases (mild sore throat is most common)
- Most blockages are successfully treated with one procedure
If you are suffering from esophageal stricture and believe you may benefit from esophageal dilation, the first step is to consult with a skilled NYC gastroenterologist. Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC) is home to top board-certified gastroenterology physicians, with extensive background in treating esophageal stricture with dilation. Call (212) 979-3237 or use the form on this page to learn more about our esophageal dilation procedure.