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Symptomatic webs of the upper esophagus: treatment with fluoroscopically guided balloon dilation.

Radiology 1995 September
PURPOSE: To evaluate treatment of symptomatic esophageal webs with fluoroscopically guided balloon dilation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Nine consecutively seen patients (women aged 46-87 years) with esophageal webs who reported dysphagia underwent the procedure. Webs were dilated with 20-mm-diameter angioplasty balloons for less than 3 minutes (total procedure time, approximately 30 minutes). Results of treatment (relief of dysphagia) were assessed by evaluating the clinical charts of six of the nine patients and by means of telephone interviews in four. Three patients were lost to follow-up.

RESULTS: For effective treatment, one balloon inflation was necessary in seven patients, two in one patient, and three in another patient during the same session. In two patients with two esophageal webs each, the strictures were treated simultaneously. There were no complications, and all patients reported immediate symptomatic relief. Six patients remained asymptomatic during follow-up of 3 months to 6.8 years (mean, 2.6 years).

CONCLUSION: Fluoroscopically guided balloon dilation is easy and highly effective in treating symptomatic esophageal webs.

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