This study aimed to determine the rate and safety of immediate esophageal dilation for esophageal food bolus impaction (EFBI) and evaluate its impact on early recurrence (i.e. prior to interval esophageal dilation) from a large Midwest US cohort. We also report practice patterns among community and academic gastroenterologists practicing in similar settings. We identified adult patients with a primary discharge diagnosis for EFBI from January 2012 to June 2018 using our institutional database. Pregnant patients, incarcerated patients, and patients with esophageal neoplasm were excluded. The primary outcome measured was rate of complications with immediate esophageal dilation after disimpaction of EFBI. Secondary outcomes were recurrence of food bolus impaction prior to scheduled interval endoscopy for dilation, practice patterns between academic and private gastroenterologists, and adherence to follow-up endoscopy. Two-hundred and fifty-six patients met our inclusion criteria. Esophageal dilation was performed in 46 patients (18%) at the time of disimpaction. A total of 45 gastroenterologists performed endoscopies for EFBI in our cohort. Twenty-five (62%) did not perform immediate esophageal dilation, and only 5 (11%) performed immediate dilation on greater than 50% of cases. Academic gastroenterologists performed disimpaction of EFBI for 102 patients, immediate dilation as performed in 20 patients and interval dilation was recommended in 82 patients. Of these 82, only 31 patients (38%) did not return for interval dilation. Four patients who did not undergo immediate dilation, presented with recurrent EFBI prior to interval dilation, within 3 months. None of the patients had complications. Complications with immediate esophageal dilation after disimpaction of EFBI are infrequent but are rarely performed. Failure of immediate dilation increases the risk of EFBI recurrence. Given poor patient adherence to interval dilation, immediate dilation is recommended.
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