Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett’s is a specific technique used to treat Barrett’s esophagus. The technique utilizes radiofrequency ablation applied through an Upper Endoscopy.
Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett’s treatment is applied to patients who have developed a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition of the esophagus that can arise from long-standing gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). In particular, Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett’s is given to patients who have developed certain changes to the cells in the Barrett’s tissue that poses an increased risk of cancer. Successful application can decrease one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer.
As the Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett’s treatment is applied through Upper Endoscopy (EGD), one prepares for Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett’s the same way he/she prepares for the Upper Endoscopy.
During the Upper Endoscopy, a device is either mounted on a balloon or the tip of the endoscope. Heat energy is then applied through this device and onto the Barrett’s segment. The procedure is done in the setting of a hospital or outpatient center, usually taking between 30 to 60 minutes. More than one treatment may be required to eradicate the dysplasia and Barrett’s tissue.
After the upper endoscopy with Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett’s application, patients are moved to a recovery room where they wait about an hour for the sedative to wear off. During this time, patients may feel bloated or nauseous. They may also have chest pain or difficulty swallowing, which may last for a few days. Patients will likely feel tired and should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Patients will often be advised to restrict their diet for a few days and take additional medications to help in the healing and recovery process.
Complications from this procedure include mucosal laceration, esophageal perforation, infection, bleeding, and stricture formation. The overall complication rate is well under 1%.
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