Esophageal Dilation

An esophageal dilation is a medical procedure in which the esophagus is stretched.   It is a relatively common procedure for individuals with esophageal atresia or tracheoesophageal fistula.  The procedure is performed when a patient’s esophagus has narrowed.  Typically, the narrowing of the esophagus is noticed by patients when they have difficulty swallowing.

The procedures for an esophageal dilation is relatively simple.  The physician will insert a small balloon-like device into the patient’s esophagus via the patient’s mouth.  Once the balloon is near the part of the esophagus that has narrowed, the physician will inflate the balloon stretching the muscle that lines the esophagus.  Ideally this will alleviate the narrowing of the esophagus, however the procedure may need to be repeated if the esophagus narrows again or if the procedure does not widen the esophagus.


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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2013, July). Esophageal Dilation. Retrieved from