Esophagoscopy

These procedures involve passing viewing devices and instruments down the esophagus and the trachea (windpipe).

Why are these procedures done?

These procedures are done by the Division of Pediatric General Surgery at All Children's Hospital for diagnosis and for treatment. Foreign bodies can be identified and retrieved, abnormal tissue can be identified and removed, plugs of mucus that block the branches of the trachea can be cleared, and areas of narrowing can be identified and dilated. Narrowing can be congenital or can result from surgery or inflammation.

How are these procedures done?

These procedures are done under general anesthesia, often on an outpatient basis. Esophagoscopy and bronchoscopy are done with rigid or flexible scopes that incorporate viewing and instrumentation ports and intense lighting. Often the viewing channel is connected to television monitors in the operating room so that the entire team can see. Images can be saved and printed so the surgeon can show the family what was found and document findings in the patient’s chart. The scopes are passed through the mouth into either the esophagus or the trachea (windpipe). Instruments are passed down the scope to grasp tissue or foreign bodies, biopsy tissue, stop bleeding, or suction out fluids. Bronchoscopes allow the anesthesiologist to breathe for the patient through the scope while the procedure is done. Esophageal dilatation is done to treat narrowing or stricture of the esophagus. It is done either with passage of a series of flexible rubber dilators of increasing size, or by placement of a balloon within the esophagus under fluoroscopic guidance which is then inflated to set pressure for specified time period to stretch the esophagus.

What is recovery like?

After patients awaken they may have a sore throat which can be easily treated and which resolves quickly. Usually patients can eat and drink soon after they awaken, and most are discharged home within an hour or two.

Appointments and More Information

For more information, visit Pediatric General Surgery. To make an appointment or to ask questions, please call (727) -767-4170.