Information for the public
Benefits and risks
Generally, the studies showed that most patients had no swallowing problems, or a significant improvement in swallowing, after the procedure. This improvement was maintained (patients were followed up between13 and 43 months after the procedure).
In 39 out of 210 patients swallowing problems returned, but further treatment was generally successful.
The studies showed that the risks of the procedure included:
small holes in the oesophagus in 13 out of 241 patients
bleeding in 3 out of 167 patients, 1 of whom needed a transfusion
a neck abscess in 1 patient
infection in 4 out of 41 patients
pneumonia in 1 patient after removal of a breathing tube.
If you want to know more about the studies, see the guidance. Ask your health professional to explain anything you don't understand.