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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging