Esophageal Dilation

New Jersey Swallowing Disorder Treatment

Your esophagus plays an important role in your ability to swallow and breathe. When this organ is damaged, you may experience pain when swallowing or find the very act of swallowing difficult to perform. It may feel like food is “stuck” in the throat, causing pain or discomfort. Esophageal dilation is a procedure used to widen a narrowed esophagus and help you regain normal swallowing function.

Some known causes of esophageal narrowing include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Injuries
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Tumors
  • Schatzki’s Ring
  • Scarring from radiation treatment

Widening the Esophagus

You will be instructed to fast for six hours before the procedure. Food and drink, including water, mints, and gum, should be avoided during this time. Once you have been sedated, the doctor will insert an endoscope through the mouth and into the esophagus. With the endoscope in place, they will use a dilating balloon or plastic dilators to stretch the esophagus. X-rays may be taken during this procedure to ensure the esophagus is widening as expected.

When the procedure is concluded, you will spend some time recovering from the sedative before returning home. Your doctor may discuss results with you at the hospital or clinic, or schedule a follow-up visit so they may speak with you after you have fully recovered from the sedative.

Dilation does not always last after just one treatment. Several appointments may be necessary until the desired results take effect. Our team will be sure to keep you updated on how your esophagus is responding and what kind of recovery timeline you can expect.

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