Dilation Specialist

Colorado Gastroenterology -  - Gastroenterologist

Colorado Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists located in Denver, CO & Aurora, CO

Esophageal stricture can make a regular activity like eating feel uncomfortable or painful. Thankfully, the specialists at Colorado Gastroenterology can perform esophageal dilation to reopen the esophagus and provide relief. If you’re experiencing symptoms of esophageal stricture, call or click to schedule an evaluation at the Denver or Aurora location.

Dilation Q & A

What is esophageal stricture?

Esophageal stricture is a medical condition marked by the narrowing of the esophagus. The esophagus commonly narrows because of scar tissue from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), endoscope injuries, or ingestion of harmful substances.

Symptoms of an esophageal stricture include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain during swallowing
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the throat
  • Regurgitation
  • Weight loss

Your gastroenterologist may screen for stricture using endoscopy or a barium swallow. One common treatment for the condition is esophageal dilation.

What is esophageal dilation?

Esophageal dilation is a procedure used to treat conditions like esophageal stricture by expanding the narrowed parts of the esophagus.

During the procedure, your Colorado Gastroenterology doctor inserts an endoscope, a thin instrument with a camera and a light on the end, or a weighted dilator into your throat.

Your doctor passes a balloon or dilator through the constricted part of the esophagus to stretch it out. You may need multiple dilation procedures to achieve or maintain full dilation.

Will I need multiple dilations?

Severe and returning cases of stricture may require multiple dilations to achieve the best outcome. Your Colorado Gastroenterology doctor can give you a better idea of what to expect based on your condition.

You and your doctor can discuss prevention techniques to keep your esophageal stricture from returning.

For example, more aggressive treatment for GERD may be necessary to keep the condition under control. You may need to adjust your current medications or take proton pump inhibitors to reduce acid.

Dietary changes may also help prevent the inflammation that contributes to striction. Talk to your Colorado Gastroenterology doctor about how to prevent the need for repeat dilations.

How can I prepare for esophageal dilation?

Your doctor gives you a list of instructions before your appointment so you can adequately prepare. Most likely, you won’t be able to eat for at least six hours before the procedure.

You need to tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you take. They may have you temporarily adjust your medications, especially blood thinners. If you normally need antibiotics during dental procedures, you may also need them for esophageal dilation.

You also need to prepare a ride home from the procedure. Your doctor may give you a local anesthetic and a sedative to make you more comfortable during the treatment so you won’t be able to drive home.

If you need to set up an esophageal dilation procedure, contact Colorado Gastroenterology over the phone.

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