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What is balloon dilatation?

Q: I am a 41 years old female suffering from achalasia cardia or oesophageal motility disorder. I feel severe pain while swallowing. What is balloon dilatation?

A:Balloon dilatation is a generic term, which refers to inserting a balloon in a narrowed orifice or area and then dilating the balloon with the view of opening up the narrowed area. This is a common technique and has varied applications. It may be used for the coronary arteries, where it is called PTCA or Stenting or it may be used for opening a valve of the heart (Balloon Mitral Valvotomy / Aortic Valvotomy) or it may be used for opening narrowed ducts in the gastro intestinal tract or strictures in the food pipe or urethra etc.

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