A/Prof David van der Poorten
Dr Roslyn Vongsuvanh
  Prof Golo Ahlenstiel
Dr Way Siow

Appointments & Enquiries:  (02) 8711 0160

Oesophageal Dilation

balloon-dilators

dilators1 sm

Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) can be a very distressing symptom, particularly if the food gets stuck in the oesophagus for any period of time.The underlying cause is often a narrowing of the oesophagus due to such things as:

  • Oesophageal ring (Schatski ring)
  • Reflux stricture (Peptic ring)
  • Radiation stricture
  • Eosinophilic oesophagitis
  • Oesophageal Web

It may also be due to a disorder of oesophageal muscle function, called a Motility disorder.

 

Specialised Services Provided

If you have difficulty swallowing we will arrange for appropriate testing including a Gastroscopy. At the time of this test we can dilate the oesophagus either with a balloon under direct vision, or with gradually enlarging flexible dilator tubes (Savory dilators), which are inserted over a guide wire. When necessary we can arrange for the procedure to be performed under X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy).

 

Quick Case Study

A man in his late 30’s came to see me in early 2013 with a long history of difficulty swallowing. He would regurgitate bits of food multiple times per week and was finding the problem increasingly distressing and debilitating. At one stage overseas he had been told it was all in his head. At endoscopy I found a tight distal oesophageal stricture which I dilated to 20mm using Savory dilators over a guide wire. Biopsies from the oesophagus subsequently showed underlying eosinophilic oesophagitis, a condition I often call asthma of the oesophagus, because the inflammation is so similar. I treated him with swallowed flixotide and repeated the oesophageal dilation on one further occasion. He hasn’t regurgitated food once since the first procedure and couldn’t be happier.