Esophageal Dilatation

An esophageal dilatation is a procedure for children with a history of narrowing of the esophagus (food pipe) from previous surgeries, chronic inflammation or swelling of the esophagus, or congenital abnormalities.

The esophageal dilatation is done under general anesthesia.

To prepare for this procedure, your child must limit food and beverage intake. If your child is able to tolerate solids or liquids, make sure to stop:

  • Solid foods eight hours before the scheduled time of the procedure
  • Clear liquids four hours before the scheduled time of the procedure

You and your child will report to Same Day Surgery one to two hours before the start of the procedure, where he / she will be prepared for surgery.

Parents will be escorted with your child to the interventional radiology suite, where you will meet the radiologist. The anesthesiologist will place a soft mask over your child's face with "sleepy gas." When your child falls asleep, you will be escorted to the Surgery Waiting Area until the procedure is complete.

The interventional radiologist will use a balloon catheter to dilate (stretch) the narrowing in the esophagus. With the use of fluoroscopy (moving X-ray), the radiologist can locate the narrowing and open the area up with an inflated balloon catheter. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.

When the procedure is done, your child will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where he / she will wake up. You will join your child in the PACU as soon as your child is fully awake.

When your child is fully awake, a clear liquid diet will be allowed. Your child will then advance to a soft diet as tolerated.

Most children go home the same day of surgery. Your child may experience some discomfort in the throat and may see a small amount of bloody sputum.

If your child is able to manage clear liquids, you may try a soft diet and progress to a regular diet if your child's doctor recommends it.

If your child experiences any severe pain or bleeding after going home, call your doctor immediately.

Last Updated 07/2015