barrett’s esophagus treatment options

If you are living with Barrett’s esophagus, ask your doctor about available treatment options.

Treatment options vary by the stage or severity of your Barrett’s esophagus and your doctor will recommend the best option.

SURVEILLANCE

One option that your doctor may recommend following your diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus is surveillance with endoscopy and biopsy, or an examination of your esophagus and sampling of the affected tissue. This will be done at various intervals to monitor disease progression to more advanced stages. The frequency of these tests may vary depending on the stage or severity of your Barrett’s esophagus.

ENDOSCOPIC OPTIONS

A number of endoscopic therapy options are available. Endoscopic therapy options offer a variety of means to remove the diseased lining of the esophagus and some are discussed in greater detail below.

RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to remove tissue affected by Barrett’s esophagus. Clinical evaluations have shown that people with low-grade dysplasia who receive RFA have an over 90% likelihood of removing dysplastic precancerous tissue from the esophagus.1,2

Watch this animation to see how the Barrx™ radiofrequency ablation system works and learn about what you can expect from the procedure.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Follow the instructions specified by your physician or the nursing staff. The following instructions were provided to patients in certain clinical trials and provided here as an example of what you can expect.

  • No eating or drinking after midnight the day before the procedure.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
  • If you take aspirin or blood thinning medication, you will receive instructions from your doctor about when to stop taking them before each endoscopy.

The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient setting and no incisions are involved. While the procedure time in clinical studies has averaged 30 minutes, the actual time may be variable depending on the experience of the doctor and the difficulty of the case. There is preparation required prior to the procedure, and you will be monitored for a time afterwards.

Follow the discharge instructions provided by your physician after the procedure. You may experience mild discomfort after the procedure, and your doctor may provide medications to help with your symptoms.

Your physician will schedule a follow-up appointment within two to three months after the procedure. Regular monitoring with endoscopies and biopsies are recommended even after radiofrequency ablation therapy.

CRYOTHERAPY

Cryotherapy is another option that your doctor may consider. It involves spraying a super-cooled liquid or gas onto the diseased lining of the esophagus.

To learn more about treatment options for Barrett’s esophagus, find a physician and schedule an appointment today.

References: 1. Shaheen NJ, Sharma P, Overholt BF, Wolfsen HC, Sampliner RE, Wang KK, et al. Radiofrequency ablation in Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009 May;360(22):2277-88.  2. Phoa KN, van Vilsteren FG, Weusten BL, Bisschops R, Schoon EJ, Ragunath K, et al. Radiofrequency ablation vs endoscopic surveillance for patients with Barrett esophagus and low-grade dysplasia: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;311(12)1209-17. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2511. Risk Information: The following are transient side effects that may be expected after treatment with the Barrx™ radiofrequency ablation system: chest pain, difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing, throat pain and/or fever. Complications observed at a very low frequency include: mucosal laceration, minor and major acute bleeding, esophageal stricture, perforation, cardiac arrhythmia, pleural effusion, aspiration and infection. Potential complications that have not been observed include: death. Please consult your physician for further information.