Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy has been shown to be safe and effective for treating Barrett’s esophagus caused by GERD. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that, if left untreated, can progress to esophageal cancer.
Radiofrequency ablation for Barrett’s Esophagus is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure performed by Dr. Reginald Bell and Dr. Philip Woodworth using BarrX and Halo technology. It does not involve any incisions.
Radiofrequency energy (radio waves) is delivered via a catheter to the esophagus to remove diseased tissue while minimizing injury to healthy esophagus tissue. This is called ablation, which means the removal or destruction of abnormal tissue.
If you are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus accompanied by dysplasia, this treatment is recommended for you. Patients with dysplastic conditions may also be considered depending on a case-to-case basis. Ideal candidates have no underlying conditions that may hinder recovery.
Your initial appointment will involve discussions of your diagnosis, disease stage, and medical history as a whole. Your doctor will determine the best treatment plan to tackle your Barrett’s esophagus for optimal results. He will also let you know about any potential complications.
While you are sedated, a device is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus and used to deliver a controlled level of energy and power to remove a thin layer of diseased tissue. Less than one second of energy from the Halo device removes tissue to a depth of about one millimeter. The ability to provide a controlled amount of heat to diseased tissue is one mechanism by which this therapy has a lower rate of complications than other forms of ablation therapy.
Larger areas of Barrett’s tissue are treated with the balloon-mounted catheter. Smaller areas are treated with the endoscope-mounted catheter. Both are introduced during a BarrX upper endoscopy procedure, which is a thin, flexible tube inserted through a patient’s mouth.
Radiofrequency ablation for Barrett’s esophagus has been used in more than 60,000 cases and the devices are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The balloon-based catheter has been available commercially since January 2005, and the endoscope-mounted catheter since January 2007.
You may feel some difficulty swallowing or chest discomfort after your treatment. These should disappear after a few days. Dr. Bell or Dr. Woodworth will give you medications to manage these issues.
Studies show that when the Barrett’s tissue is removed, it is typically replaced by normal, healthy tissue within three to four weeks. Recent five year follow-up of longer term trials shows that the effects of radiofrequency ablation are durable.
Learn more about the benefits of radiofrequency ablation for Barrett’s esophagus (Halo, BarrX) in Denver. Call today to set up an appointment.
For more information, visit www.treatbarretts.com.