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Esophageal dilation is a procedure that can open up narrow areas of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food to your stomach. When this tube is too narrow, it is hard for food and liquids to pass through. This makes it hard to swallow.
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.) Or 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). You may go home after your healthcare team checks to make sure that you are not having any problems.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Adaptation Date: 4/28/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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