Radiofrequency ablation therapy (RFA) remains one of the best treatments for Barrett’s esophagus, a condition occurs when the cells in your lower esophagus become damaged. Over time, if Barrett’s esophagus is left untreated, it can lead to complications including esophageal cancer.
RFA is used to treat Barrett’s Esophagus, and therefore helps reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Our Los Angeles gastroenterologists at the Barrett’s Esophagus Center of Excellence perform state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical treatments for acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus. Through huge medical advancements, our esophagus specialists have perfected RFA therapy with an innovative tool called the HALO System, which allows for greater precision and control when removing damaged tissue – without harming healthy tissue.
How Does the HALO System Improve RFA?
RFA involves the insertion of an upper endoscope through your mouth to reach your esophagus and remove any identifiable pre-cancerous esophageal tissue. The HALO system is comprised of new-and-improved equipment that more precisely and efficiently removes all damaged tissue in the esophagus, helping to ensure that only healthy tissue grows back following the procedure.
How Does RFA Help Prevent Esophageal Cancer?
At least 17,000 new cases of esophageal cancer were diagnosed in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, many cases are often not diagnosed until later stages when more invasive surgeries, such as a partial or complete esophagectomy, become necessary. This is due to the fact that esophageal cancer tends to be symptomless in its early stages.
However, esophageal cancer can be prevented. If you have acid reflux then there is a chance you may develop or already have Barrett’s esophagus. Treating Barrett’s esophagus with RFA therapy significantly reduces your chances of developing esophageal cancer because it removes all damaged tissue that is or could become pre-cancerous in your esophagus.
If you have chronic acid reflux, or are experiencing severe symptoms such as persistent chest pain and heartburn, vomiting blood, regurgitating food or extreme weight loss, please don’t hesitate to call our surgery center right away and schedule a consultation with one of our world-renowned gastroenterologists.
What Happens During RFA Therapy?
Using an upper endoscope, your surgeon will insert the HALO Ablative Catheter through your mouth to reach your esophagus and remove the damaged tissue associated with Barrett’s Esophagus. Once all of the injured tissue is safely removed, healthy tissue is able to grow back.
The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour, and patients can go home the same day as the RFA treatment. Because the procedure requires no incisions or surgery, recovery from RFA is minimal. After a few days of a special liquid and soft food diet, patients can return to normal eating habits.
Contact a Barrett’s Esophagus Specialist in Los Angeles
While not everyone who has Barrett’s Esophagus develops esophageal cancer, it is important to discuss your condition with an esophagus specialist to determine what type of treatment is right for you, and if you should undergo RFA therapy.
To schedule a consultation with one of our world-renowned gastroenterologists, please call (888) 548-7614 or fill out our online contact form.
Next, read about preparing for RFA.