If you have chronic acid reflux, your risk for developing Barrett’s esophagus increases. At Advanced GI LLC in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the experienced gastroenterology team offers comprehensive radiofrequency ablation services to treat Barrett’s esophagus. Michael Flicker, MD, and Carl Atallah, DO, provide the highest quality of care to treat your condition and reduce your risk for esophageal cancer and other complications. Call Advanced GI LLC or book an appointment online today to see if you’re a candidate for radiofrequency ablation.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for Barrett’s esophagus. This condition affects the lining of the wall of your esophagus – the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach.
Due to a backflow of stomach acids (acid reflux), the cells in your small intestine start replacing your esophageal cells. This can lead to precancerous cell changes (dysplasia) that increase your risk of cancer.
Because Barrett’s esophagus doesn’t heal itself, even if you’re treating acid reflux, radiofrequency ablation is necessary to destroy precancerous cells and reduce your risk factors for esophageal cancer.
Radiofrequency ablation uses heat energy to target and destroy precancerous cells in your esophagus. The treated tissue breaks down in 48-72 hours after your procedure.
Following radiofrequency ablation, your provider treats you with a proton pump inhibitor, a powerful acid-suppressing medication, and ulcer-coating sucralfate to prevent damage from additional acid reflux. Over the next 6-8 weeks, new esophageal tissue grows to restore the lining.
The providers continue to monitor your esophageal health with follow-up endoscopy procedures. You may need additional radiofrequency ablation procedures at a later time to destroy the remaining precancerous tissue.
During your radiofrequency ablation, your provider performs an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy.
This procedure uses a small camera and light that attaches to a flexible tube to view your esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of your bowel. The camera sends real-time images of these structures to an external monitor.
Once the physicians identify the abnormal cells, they insert a special catheter to deliver the radiofrequency heat energy into the tissue.
Following your treatment, it’s normal to feel some chest discomfort or pain. Your provider can help you manage any side effects with pain-relievers and numbing creams.
You can return to your usual activities the day after radiofrequency ablation but will need to follow a soft-food eating plan for the first few days as your esophagus heals.
To find out if you’re a candidate for radiofrequency ablation to treat Barrett’s esophagus, schedule an appointment online or by calling Advanced GI LLC today.