Difficulty swallowing, also called dysphagia, is a common symptom that can arise from a number of conditions. Sometimes, when a person has trouble swallowing, it is because there is an area in the esophagus that is narrowed. Other people can have a stricture, or a build-up of scar tissue, that causes food to get “stuck” on the way down into the stomach. Some people are even born with “rings”, or layers of excess tissue in the esophagus that makes it more difficult to swallow food. These patients may benefit from esophageal dilatation.
Esophageal dilatation is a surgical procedure performed to relieve these conditions and restore normal esophageal flow. This procedure is performed during an upper endoscopy. A deflated tube is placed into the esophagus and is gently inflated to dilate the affected area. Please refer to the procedure for upper endoscopy.