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Balloon Dilation of Esophageal Stricture

This is a short video that illustrates an esophageal dilation procedure using a special balloon. After years of acid reflux, some patients with long-standing GERD develop trouble swallowing their food - especially solid foods like bread and meat. This symptom is usually due to a build up of scar tissue from many years of heartburn and acid damage. This causes a narrowing, or stricture, to form. This makes eating very difficult and sometimes frightening. Since one can't stop eating, the problem must be corrected.

In the past, such treatment often required major chest surgery with a long and painful recovery. Now we can dilate most esophageal strictures during a simple outpatient gastroscopy examination. During the procedure, a long thin balloon dilator is first deflated and passed down through the center of the gastroscope. Under direct vision, the doctor straddles the deflated balloon across the narrow segment. The balloon is inflated with water to a certain pressure which expands the cigar-shaped balloon pushing the walls outward, dilating the stricture. (This is quite similar to an angioplasty of the heart where the a blocked coronary artery is dilated with a tiny balloon.)

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Balloon Dilator in Esophageal Stricture


Text & Images Courtesy of Three Rivers Endoscopy Center
© Dr. Robert Fusco, Three Rivers Endoscopy Center, All Rights Reserved

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