Esophageal dilation (2057)

Key points below

What is esophageal stricture?

The narrowed areas of the food tube are called esophageal strictures. A stricture may be from:


What is esophageal dilation?

A procedure to stretch (dilate) the narrowed area of the esophagus. Various techniques such as a balloon or a soft plastic tube are used, based on the type of narrowing. The procedure is done by a Pediatric Interventional Radiologist or Gastroenterologist.      


The procedures may be done with the use of fluoroscopy (live X-ray) or endoscopy (a soft flexible camera) to help the doctor see your child’s esophagus. Sometimes a medication may be injected into the scar tissue to prevent the narrowing from coming back. It is common to require repeat dilations. This allows the dilation to be performed gradually and decreases the risk of complications



Special Instructions

Do not let your child eat or drink anything before the procedure. Use this guide:

No solid food 8 hours before the procedure.
No milk or formula for 6 hours before the procedure.
No breast milk for 4 hours before the procedure.
No clear liquids for 2 hours before the procedure.

Please note:
It is important that you follow these special instructions. If your child eats or drinks anything after the times listed above, the procedure may be cancelled.

What should I expect after the procedure?

Read the after visit summary (AVS) for instructions.



Follow up   

Your child will need to see the doctor for a follow up visit.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child:

  • Has a temperature over 101º F (38.3º C). 
  • Is vomiting, coughing, or gagging.
  • Has a hard time breathing or is short of breath.
  • Has a hard time waking up.
  • Develops a rash on the skin.
  • Cries a lot and you are not able to comfort your child.
  • Has pain that is severe or getting worse.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.