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Endoscopic Dilatation of Esophageal Stricture

  • The most common cause of narrowing of the esophagus, or stricture, is scarring of the esophagus from reflux of stomach acid occurring in patients with heartburn.
  • Symptoms; Patients with a narrowed portion of the esophagus often have trouble swallowing; food feels like it is “stuck” in the chest region, causing discomfort or pain.
  • Procedure; Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows your doctor to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus [swallowing tube]. Depending on the degree and cause of narrowing of your esophagus, it is common to require repeat dilations.

  • This allows the dilation to be performed gradually and decreases the risk of complications. Once the stricture, or narrowed esophagus, is completely dilated, repeat dilations may not be required.
  • If the stricture was due to acid reflux, acid-suppressing medicines can decrease the risk of stricture recurrence.
  • Your doctor might perform the procedure as part of a sedated endoscopy. Alternatively, your doctor might apply a local anesthetic spray to the back of your throat and then pass a weighted dilator through your mouth and into your esophagus.

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