Transnasal balloon dilation of the esophagus

Catherine J. Rees, Taylor Fordham, Peter C Belafsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the safety of transnasal balloon dilation of the esophagus. Design: Retrospective case series. Setting: Two tertiary care institutions. Patients: All patients undergoing transnasal balloon dilation of the esophagus. Main Outcome Measure: Complications. Results: Fifty-four transnasal esophageal balloon dilations were performed in 38 patients. The mean age of the cohort was 65 years (range, 13-88 years). Twenty-nine patients were male (76%). Twenty procedures were performed using only topical anesthesia in the office setting. Seven patients (18%) were postlaryngectomy, and 15 patients (39%) had a history of head and neck radiation therapy. The upper esophageal sphincter (UES) was the most frequent dilation site (63%), followed by proximal/ mid esophagus (26%), lower esophageal sphincter (LES) (7.4%), and both the UES and LES (3.7%). Indications included cricopharyngeal dysfunction, benign stricture, web, and Schatzki ring. Two procedures (3.7%) were aborted secondary to self-limited laryngospasm or gagging. There were no clinically significant complications. Conclusions: Transnasal esophageal balloon dilation can be performed in unsedated or sedated patients with a very low complication rate. The procedure is well tolerated in 96% of patients. This technique, formerly available only through larger caliber oral gastroscopes and under sedation, allows for office-based esophageal balloon dilation in an otolaryngology practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-783
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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