• Our experience with balloon dilatation of postoperative anastomotic strictures is reported herein. Six patients with strictures not responsive or accessible to standard bougie techniques were selected for balloon dilatation. A guidewire was passed through the stricture with an endoscope (four patients) or with fluoroscopic guidance alone (two patients). Balloon catheters were then advanced over the guidewire and distended with a water-contrast mixture. Sufficient pressure was applied to efface the stricture indentation of the balloon. Since August 1984, we have performed 12 dilatations in these six patients. We dilated four strictures to 20 mm and two strictures to 15 mm. With the exception of stenosis due to edema caused by cancer or radiation, balloon dilatation is an effective treatment of tight upper gastrointestinal tract strictures that have not responded to standard dilatation techniques.
(Arch Surg 1988;123:759-762)