Esophageal Dilation: What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

After you have esophageal dilation, you will stay at the hospital or surgery centre for 1 to 2 hours. This will allow the medicine to wear off. You will be able to go home after your doctor or nurse checks to make sure you are not having any problems.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

  • Rest as much as you need to after you go home.
  • You should be able to go back to your usual activities the day after the procedure.

Diet

  • Follow your doctor's directions for eating after the procedure.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor has told you not to).

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • If you have a sore throat the day after the procedure, use an over-the-counter spray to numb your throat. Sucking on throat lozenges and gargling with warm salt water may also help relieve your symptoms.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
  • You pass maroon or very bloody stools.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have trouble swallowing.
  • You have belly pain.
  • Your stools are black and tar-like or have streaks of blood.
  • You are sick to your stomach or cannot keep fluids down.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around your throat, neck, or belly.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your throat still hurts after a day or two.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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