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Pulmonary Balloon Dilation


Pulmonary Balloon dilation

is done to expand a narrow windpipe (trachea) or main branch in the lungs (bronchus).

The Lungs

What will happen before balloon dilation:

  • In the weeks before your procedure you will need to have a CT scan, x-rays, or a bronchoscopy. These tests will help healthcare providers see how close the area is to your vocal cords. They will also help measure the size of the narrow area.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you not to eat or drink for at least 4 hours before the procedure.
  • Your throat will be sprayed with numbing medicine. You will also receive medicine to relax you.

What happens during balloon dilation:

Your healthcare provider will first use a bronchoscope to look at the area. A guidewire will be placed into the narrow area. He or she will then use fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to help see the area while doing the procedure. A balloon is passed over the guidewire to the area. The balloon is inflated 2 to 3 times for 1 to 2 minutes at a time. If the narrowing is in the trachea, the balloon will be inflated for less than 20 seconds.

What happens after your procedure:

Healthcare providers will monitor you for complications. You may need a pulmonary function test after your procedure to see if your symptoms are better.

Risks of pulmonary balloon dilation:

You may have a cough or chest pain during dilation. You may have bronchospasm or part of your lung may collapse after the procedure is done. You may bleed more than expected, which can be life-threatening. You may get an infection. Your symptoms may return and you may need a repeat dilation or other treatments.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have chest pain and a cough.
  • Your heart beats faster than usual and you are short of breath.
  • You are wheezing or have trouble breathing.
  • You have problems swallowing, hoarseness, heartburn, or a sore throat.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms return or become worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider within 1 week and as directed:

Your healthcare provider may need you to also follow up at 1 month, 3 months, and every 3 months after that.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.