Bidirectional esophageal dilatation in pharyngoesophageal stenosis postradiotherapy

Haim Gavriel*, Cuong Duong, John Spillane, Andrew Sizeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Severely stenosed radiation-induced benign strictures around the level of cricopharyngeus post-radical chemoradiation for head and neck or upper esophageal cancers pose significant management problems. We report our technique of bidirectional assessment and dilatation of pharyngoesophageal strictures in patients with an in situ percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. The upper gastrointestinal surgeon approached the area of stenosis in a retrograde manner through the PEG tube to guide the otolaryngeal surgeon who performed anterograde dilatation via a rigid laryngoscope. Between 2005 and 2009, bidirectional esophageal dilatation was performed on 5 patients at our institution. Video fluoroscopy confirmed improved patency of stenosed esophagus in all cases and good improvement in swallowing ability in 4 patients. The ability to accurately assess pharyngoesophageal strictures using bidirectional visualization and transillumination is the key modification of our technique. We suggest using bidirectional esophageal dilatation on difficult cases with severe pharyngoesophageal stenoses although extreme care is required. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-737
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • dysphagia
  • esophageal stricture
  • esophagoscopy
  • hypopharyngeal cancer
  • radiotherapy


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