Esophageal dilation (ED) may be performed in the office under local anesthesia or in a procedure/operating room under general anesthesia or intravenous (IV) sedation. However, indications for type of anesthesia during these procedures have not been established. The purpose of this review is to assess outcomes of esophageal dilation performed using different types of anesthesia to assess the safety of office-based techniques.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing the outcomes of anesthesia techniques for ED in adults. Exclusion criteria included reviews, small case series, use of stents, diagnoses with high morbidity, and rare diseases. A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases was performed for articles relating to esophageal dilation.
876 papers were identified of which 164 full text studies were assessed and 25 were included in the analysis using the PRISMA guidelines. Data regarding demographics, dilation technique, and adverse events were extracted. The DerSimonian-Laird random-effect models with inverse-variance weighting were fit to estimate the combined effects. There were no statistically significant differences among mortality, perforation, or bleeding based on anesthetic.
With office-based procedures gaining popularity in laryngology, there is a need to profile their safety. Office-based ED appears to have equivalent safety to general and IV sedation, although further research is necessary to define indications favoring office-based techniques.

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