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Esophageal Dilation Home Care Instructions

(757) 668-7000

Your child is having an esophageal dilatation. The doctor will pass a small tube with a light on the end into the esophagus to look for tight or narrow areas. If found, the doctor may try to dilate or enlarge the narrowing with a special instrument. Your child’s doctor may use a thick, weighted tube or an inflatable balloon to enlarge the narrowing.

What to expect after the test: 

The primary risks of this procedure are excessive bleeding or perforation. Perforation is when a hole is created through tissue causing a leak. In this case, it could be air, blood or other fluids seeping into the chest cavity. If your child is complaining of chest pain after the procedure, your child’s doctor may order an X-ray and blood tests. Your child cannot eat or drink until the doctor has looked at the X-ray and checked the blood test results.

Your child may complain of a sore throat. This will get much better in a few hours.

Most children are fussy when waking up. Parents are invited to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) shortly after the procedure. 

Your child may develop a red/flushed look to his/her face and chest 1-2 hours after the procedure. This blotchy, red color is a normal response to the medicine given during surgery.

When to call the doctor:

  • Your child is having problems swallowing.
  • Your child has bright red bleeding from the mouth.
  • Your child’s temperature is greater than 101.5F rectally or greater than 100.5F by mouth. Slight fevers after surgery are normal. You should take your child’s temperature at least once before bedtime tonight.
  • Your child begins having a croupy (barky) cough or cry or wheezing.
  • Your child has vomiting for more than 6 hours or if vomiting is severe. Your nurse will discuss this with you before your child goes home.
  • Your child shows signs of dehydration. A child can become dehydrated when he or she has prolonged or severe vomiting and is not able to drink enough to remain hydrated. 

Signs of Dehydration

  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken look around the eyes
  • No tears when crying
  • Decreased amount of urine, difficulty urinating or fewer wet diapers in an infant/toddler.


Please call if you have any questions. Use the phone number your nurse has given you.

PHONE NUMBER: ____________________________________________

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 02/2018

(757) 668-7000