barretts-esophagus-faq-los-angelesBelow are some of the most frequently asked questions about Barrett’s esophagus and endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy. It’s important to realize that detecting and treating Barrett’s disease early can help protect you from developing more dangerous conditions like esophageal cancer. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact us at (888) 548-7614 to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified GI doctors.

Barrett’s Esophagus FAQ

Q: What are some symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus?

A: Although many people with Barrett’s do not experience symptoms in the early stages of the condition, some individuals may suffer from the following: heartburn, chest pain, trouble swallowing and a dry cough.

Q: How does GERD lead to Barrett’s esophagus?

A: Over time, the acid reflux associated with GERD can cause changes to the composition of the cells of the esophagus. If you have GERD, you should be tested for Barrett’s disease.

Q: What is radiofrequency ablation therapy (RFA)?

A: Radiofrequency ablation therapy treats Barrett’s esophagus. The RFA procedure lasts about 30 minutes and requires no surgery or incisions. Our doctors insert this tiny tool through the mouth and focus ablative energy on the pre-cancerous esophageal tissue. The HALO System allows our surgeons greater control and precision when removing injured tissue without damaging any healthy tissue nearby. The treatment is effective because once the damaged tissue has been destroyed healthy tissue grows back in its place.

Q: How long does the procedure take?

A: Radiofrequency ablation therapy at the Barrett’s Center of Excellence takes just 30 minutes. However, you should expect to be at our Los Angeles facility for a few hours, as you will spend time in recovery while sedation wears off.

Q: Can I still have RFA if I’ve had a hernia repair?

A: Much of the published data suggests that RFA is safe for hernia patients. However, you should talk to your doctor about your specific situation.

Q: Can RFA prevent esophageal cancer?

A: RFA may help protect you from getting esophageal cancer by removing precancerous cells from the lining of the esophagus.

Q: Does everyone with Barrett’s disease go on to develop esophageal cancer?

A: No. Patients with non-dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus have a three to five percent chance of developing esophageal cancer over ten years. If you have Barrett’s, it’s important to see a GI doctor to monitor your condition for signs of cancer.

Q: Does Barrett’s recur after RFA therapy?

A: Studies indicate that over 90 percent of patients remained free of Barrett’s five years after undergoing RFA.

Q: Does RFA cure acid reflux?

A: RFA does not treat acid reflux, and you may still need to take antacids after the procedure.

Q: Who is at risk for developing Barrett’s?

A: Caucasians, men and people over fifty have a higher risk of developing Barrett’s disease. Additionally, the disease is more common in people who have suffered for ten or more years with heartburn.

Q: What is dysplasia?

A: Dysplasia is a term used to describe an abnormality in cells. People with Barrett’s disease may suffer from low-grade or high-grade dysplasia depending upon the degree of change to the cells in the esophagus.

Q: Why should I undergo RFA at the Barrett’s Center of Excellence?

A: There are many reasons to undergo RFA at La Peer Health Systems’ Barrett’s Center in Los Angeles. A safe outpatient facility, the Barrett’s Center is not a hospital, and patients are unlikely to encounter people with illnesses or infections. Further, as a smaller facility, we can offer highly personalized care. Learn more about our skilled team of GI doctors.

Contact Our Barrett’s Esophagus Experts

The board-certified GI doctors at the Barrett’s Center of Excellence offer expert, compassionate care for Barrett’s esophagus. If you would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us online or by phone at (888) 548-7614.

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