Dilations of anastomotic strictures over time after repair of esophageal atresia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim of the study: Anastomotic strictures commonly occur in patients undergoing surgery for esophageal atresia (EA). The primary aim of this study was to determine the age distribution of dilation procedures for anastomotic strictures over the patient’s childhood after reconstruction of EA. The secondary aim was to evaluate the effect of postoperative proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) on the frequency of dilations. Methods: This observational study was conducted at a single tertiary center of pediatric surgery. The times that dilations of strictures were performed were assessed during three study periods: 1983–1995, 2001–2009, and 2010–2014. PPIs were not used during the first period, and then, respectively, for 3 and 12 months postoperatively. The indications for dilation were signs of obstruction and/or radiological signs of stricture. Primary results: A total of 131 children underwent esophageal reconstruction, and of those, 60 (46%) required at least 1 dilation procedure for strictures. There were no differences in the frequencies of dilation procedures between the three study periods (28/66, 18/32 and 14/33, respectively; P = 0.42). The overall median number of dilations per patient was 3 (range 1–21) with no differences between the study periods. The differences between ages at which the first dilation was performed during each study period were significant, as follows: 7, 2, and 8 months, respectively (P = 0.03). Fiftyone percent of all dilation procedures were performed during the first year of life, 16% during the second year, and 33% during years 2–15. Four children (2%) underwent >12 dilations. Conclusion: The first year of life was the time of greatest need for dilation of AS after reconstruction of EA; however, dilations were also performed several years later. PPIs did not affect the frequency of dilations during the first year of life.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics


  • Anastomotic stricture (AS), Balloon dilation, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), Esophageal atresia (EA)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number2
Early online date2016 Nov 15
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch