Dilation of Esophageal Strictures
Achalasia is a condition of the esophagus where the sphincter or valve at the lower end of the esophagus is too tight. It results in difficulty in swallowing. One treatment is to inflate a balloon across this valve so as to split the underlying tense muscle fibers which are causing the problem. Image 1 shows a wire which has been placed in the esophagus and which goes on into the stomach. The balloon dilator is passed over this wire. In Image 2, you note the wide tear with some blood in the base. While this looks angry, it is really a desirable view for the physician because he or she knows that the underlying muscle has been broken and the underlying problem probably corrected.