Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

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Tue, Jan 8, 2019 10:16am

Esophageal Self Dilation Therapy: An Effective Alternative

By Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator, @kanaazpereira

Many patients have difficulty swallowing due to narrowing of the esophagus. Benign esophageal strictures can be challenging to treat, with the main treatment being endoscopic dilations. Often, repeated upper endoscopies are required to maintain successful swallowing. These procedures are costly and their efficacy can be short-lived. Gastroenterologists at Mayo Clinic offer a more convenient and effective method that may lessen the frustrations and challenges of repeated endoscopies–esophageal self dilation therapy or ESDT.

Esophageal self-dilation involves teaching the patient how to dilate their esophagus orally, on a routine basis with the help of a simple medical device–a polyvinyl dilator. Besides being successful, researchers also found that ESDT could lead to the removal of feeding tubes that were previously required to get food into the gastrointestinal tract.

Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, Dr. Magnus Halland, M.D., encourages patients with swallowing difficulties due to narrowing of the esophagus, to visit Mayo Clinic to see if they may be candidates to learn ESDT. Dr. Halland also talks about the open clinical trial linked to ESDT at Mayo Clinic.

Meet other people talking about esophageal disorders on Mayo Clinic Connect. Here are some discussions you might like to view–join the conversation, share experiences, ask questions, and discover your support network...

My husband will be having this done for the 2nd time. We cannot imagine this being done by anyone except a professional and under anesthesia.


My husband will be having this done for the 2nd time. We cannot imagine this being done by anyone except a professional and under anesthesia.

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Best wishes for your husband. It is fortunately only a small group of patients who simply don't stay open very long after endoscopic dilatations done under anesthesia. In such patients, many of whom have undergone 10 or more endoscopies, we teach self-dilation, which helps maintain the opening which has recently been achieved during an endoscopic procedure.

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