Narrowed areas in the gastrointestinal tract may be widened by means of balloon dilation. The area that most commonly requires dilation is the lower oesophagus. This may become narrowed due to long-standing acid reflux into the oesophagus. This usually causes difficulty in swallowing. The narrowed area may be dilated with a balloon leading to an immediate improvement in swallowing.
Other areas can benefit from this procedure such as the bowel in cases of inflammatory bowel disease.