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Updated November 29, 2012

Definition: The widening of a tubular structure, including the esophagus or intestines. Dilation may be done in the intestines or esophagus if the area is narrowed, such as from a stricture. Manual dilation is most commonly done with a balloon that is inserted into the area to be dilated and then inflated. This process stretches the tissue and opens up the area that has become abnormally narrowed.
Pronunciation: dī-lā′shŭn

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