Digestive Care

Barrett's Esophagus - Radiofrequency Ablation

Acid reflux can be annoying and persistent, but when it becomes chronic, it can cause the tissue of the esophagus to change, so that it resembles the lining of the stomach.

When the lining of the esophagus is altered, the condition is called Barrett’s Esophagus, which affects more than 3 million Americans. Although Barrett’s usually causes no symptoms itself, people with this condition are 50 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than those who don’t.  

Barrett’s can be treated with a new procedure, called the HALO Radiofrequency Ablation Technology System, which uses radio frequency ablation (RFA) to remove the affected cells.

Ablation is a technique where tissue is heated until it is no longer viable or alive. Physicians have used various forms of ablation for nearly a century to treat a number of cancerous and precancerous conditions, as well as to control bleeding. The HALO ablation technology is a very specific type of ablation, in which heat energy is delivered in a precise and highly-controlled manner.

The procedure can be done on an outpatient basis, and involves a light sedative. After the patient is given the sedative, a small camera is inserted down the esophagus, along with a small balloon containing the RFA device. The damaged tissue is burned away with short bursts of energy, leaving only healthy tissue behind.