BARRX – a procedure using radio frequency ablation for treatment of Barrett’s Esophagus
BARRX is a new treatment option for Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that can often result from chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD. It is performed by a physician in conjunction with an upper endoscopy; it does not require any incisions or surgery. BARRX can minimize one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer if suffering from Barrett’s Esophagus as a result of GERD.
Reasons for the Exam
Barrett’s esophagus is the name given to describe abnormal tissue in the esophagus which can occur as a result of gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD). These abnormal cells can become cancerous. This procedure of ablating or removing cells can prevent the tissue from developing into a cancer. The abnormal cells are destroyed and new healthy cells can replace them.
Upper Endoscopy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. It is performed with the patient lying on the left side. A bite block is usually placed in the patient’s mouth to keep the mouth open. The patient is sedated with MAC. For the procedure you will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tub called an endoscope. The endoscope transmits an image of the inside of the esophagus. The physician will view the esophagus with the endoscope and measure the area that requires treatment. The physician will then insert a BARRX ablation catheter into the esophagus to deliver energy to only the abnormal tissue.
This procedure can minimize or prevent abnormal cells from developing into a cancerous condition of the esophagus.
Side Effects and Risks
Patients may experience some chest discomfort or difficulty swallowing which should resolve within a few days. Your Physician will provide you with medications for these symptoms. Bleeding, infection, and reaction to anesthesia may occur but are uncommon. Perforation requiring surgery is rare. Due to sedation, the patient should not drive or operate machinery for the remainder of the day following the exam.
BARRX can minimize your risk of developing esophageal cancer if you suffer from Barrett’s Esophagus as a result of GERD. It is extremely important that you continue with your treatment for GERD on a long term basis as advised by your physician to prevent further damage to the lining of the esophagus