Forceful balloon dilation: an outpatient procedure for achalasia

Gastrointest Endosc. Mar-Apr 1990;36(2):123-6. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(90)70964-9.


The initial treatment of choice in patients with achalasia is balloon dilation. Heretofore, this procedure was performed on an in-hospital basis resulting in high patient cost. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of pneumatic dilation as an outpatient procedure. Sixty-one procedures were performed on 50 patients at two centers. An overall treatment success rate of 95% (47 of 50 patients) was achieved. Two patients had elective surgical treatment and a third underwent surgery for perforation secondary to dilation. A total of three patients complained of post-procedure chest pain within 4 hours and were hospitalized. Two had perforations; one required surgical repair. The third patient had resolution of symptoms. We conclude that performing balloon dilation as an outpatient procedure is safe, efficacious, and cost effective.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / economics*
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Catheterization / economics
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Child
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Esophageal Achalasia / complications
  • Esophageal Achalasia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies