Esophageal dilation is a Gastroenterology/Hepatology procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus [swallowing tube]. Doctors can use various techniques for this procedure. Your doctor might perform the procedure as part of a sedated endoscopy.
Esophageal Dilation Preparation:
You will need to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. Your doctor will give you instructions. Be sure you have someone to take you home. Medicines you get during the procedure will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own. Talk to your doctor about what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options. If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure.
Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding. Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don’t have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It’s a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
Day of Esophageal Dilation:
During the procedure, the doctor guides a balloon or plastic dilator down your throat and into your esophagus. Then the device expands, like a balloon filling with air. It widens any narrow parts of your esophagus. To guide the balloon or plastic dilator, the doctor may use a thin, lighted tube that bends. (It is called an endoscope, or a scope.)
Alternatively, they may use a thin wire as a guide. You may get medicine to numb the back of your throat and help you relax during the procedure. Children who have this procedure will often get medicine to make them sleep (general anesthesia). Following the procedure, you may go home after our team checks to make sure that you are not having any problems.