The esophagus is a muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. If the esophagus is too narrow, swallowing problems can occur.
During an esophageal dilation, the doctor places a tube-shaped device into the esophagus to widen the narrow part. This procedure makes it easier to swallow and get proper nutrition.
Esophageal dilation is done to treat a narrowing in the esophagus, called a stricture. This happens when there is a build-up of scar tissue, which may be due to conditions like:
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
- Injury to the esophagus
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Congenital defects or after repair of defects of the esophagus
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Esophageal dilation widens the esophagus. Some patients may need the procedure repeated within a year.
Last reviewedJune 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.