This is a procedure in which a small tube and dilator are placed through the mouth into the esophagus (food pipe) to stretch a narrowed area.
An upper endoscopy is an examination of the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestine. It is done using a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end (endoscope). If a narrow area is found, a dilator is placed through the endoscope to stretch the area and make the esophagus wider.
An esophageal dilation (stretching) may be recommended if you have symptoms consistent with a narrowing in your esophagus. This includes difficulty swallowing, feeling like food is stuck in your chest area and upper chest pain or discomfort. An esophageal dilation may be done at a facility that specializes in gastrointestinal procedures or at a hospital. The narrowing is usually located in the lower part of the esophagus.
Prior to the procedure, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
Your throat will be numbed before the procedure and you will be given a medicine to make you sleepy and relaxed (sedative).
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a dilation of my esophagus?
After your dilation, your healthcare provider should provide a description of any problems found during the procedure and what symptoms you should report before your next appointment. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Do not forget to arrange for transportation to and from the facility and help at home.
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