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Balloon Dilatation of Achalasia

Balloon dilation (pneumatic dilatation) is done to control Achalasia by tearing the muscles of LES making it comparatively easy for the patient to swallow. Generally the patient require more than one balloon dilation treatment for adequate relief.

Indication for Balloon Dilatation:

Achalasia is an esophageal motor disorder in which the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure is increased, peristalsis is diminished and there is lack of coordination in LES relaxation in response to swallowing. This causes dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing.

Procedure:

Patient is advised to drink only liquids for 12 hours to two days in advance. The procedure starts with the surgeon inserting a guide wire down the esophagus with the help of endoscopy and fluoroscopy (x-ray). The wire is positioned inside the LES and a deflated balloon is now advanced along this guide wire. The balloon is inflated for a variable period ranging from seconds to minutes. Now this balloon is deflated and removed. Patient is kept under observation in the recovery room. Patient is discharged in case no complications occur and may require more dilations to improve the symptoms. The dilatations should start with small-size balloons, progressing to larger sizes only when necessary, to minimize the risk of esophageal perforation

Advantages of Balloon Dilatation of Achalasia:

  • High success rate
  • Safe and successful
  • Procedure is faster
  • Not expensive
  • Requires a short hospital stay