Book Online

Complications of ETD balloon dilation?

Potential Adverse Effects of Balloon Dilations

There have been recent findings showing the detrimental effects balloon dilations can have on one’s quality of life. There have been cases reported of the following effects post insertion of balloon:

  • Patulous Eustachian tube
  • Carotid artery injury
  • Subcutaneous emphysema
Patulous Eustachian Tube Carotid artery injury Subcutaneous Emphysema

The balloon is inserted into the eustachian tube primarily to help open up the narrowing of the tube. However, sometimes the balloon can dilate or open too widely causing there to be overstretching of the Eustachian tube. This is what we call a patulous Eustachian tube.

In the interior space of the eustachian tube we have the carotid artery which is a major vessel functioning in supplying blood to the brain. When this balloon is dilated within a close proximity or directly in contact with his artery, it can cause an injury or even rupture to the artery. This is an urgent complication that could result in severe consequences, including death.

A Subcutaneous Emphysema is described as an air bubble trapped beneath the layer of our skin. When the balloon becomes dilated within the eustachian tube it can cause this air to be trapped within the face, neck, or chest causing swelling, difficulty breathing, pain, and a sore throat. In the most severe cases patients can experience life-threatening complications which include: pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, or heart failure.


Your request is submitted successfully.
We will reach out to you soon!



Sorry! We were unable to process your
request. Please try again!