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Harry had “been taking over the counter medicine for years,” and thought his GERD was “under control” until his doctors discovered Harry had Barrett’s esophagus with advanced high-grade dysplasia (HGD).
Although Harry had several risk factors (Caucasian male over 50 with history of acid reflux), he had no idea reflux could progress to Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma.1-5
After conversations with his doctors and careful consideration, Harry decided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) was the best option to treat his Barrett’s esophagus.
If I had not had this procedure, then I would have cancer of my esophagus.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to remove tissue damaged by Barrett’s esophagus. The BarrxTM radiofrequency ablation system technology is designed to remove tissue affected by Barrett’s, while preserving the underlying healthy tissue.6 Multiple studies demonstrate the effectiveness of RFA in treating Barrett’s esophagus.7-11
Harry, like many Barrett’s esophagus patients, developed the disease tissue in multiple areas and needed several rounds of RFA treatment. Ablation therapy is performed in conjunction with an upper endoscopy and is typically done in an outpatient setting. Harry had a positive personal experience. Harry said for him "the hardest part of the procedures was getting across town in traffic. Other than that, the procedure was marveous."
Now clear of Barrett’s esophagus, Harry works hard to make sure his Barrett’s doesn’t come back with diet changes and by keeping his annual doctor’s visits. Harry feels that his health has improved since his treatments. “I feel much better now than I did, say 10 years ago. I’m quite active.” Harry’s happy to report he and his wife are ballroom dancing again.
Spechler S. et al. Barrett’s Esophagus. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:836-45.
Evans JA et al. The Role of Endoscopy in Barrett’s Esophagus and Other Premalignant Conditions of the Esophagus. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2012;27(6):1087-1094.
De Jonge PJ et al. Risk of Malignant Progression in patients with Barrett’s Esophagus: A Dutch Nationwide Cohort Study. Gut 2010;59:1030-1036.
Pohl H, Welch G et al. The Role of Over Diagnosis and Reclassification in the Marked Increase of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Incidence. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:142-6.
Hvid-Jensen F et al. Incidence of Adenocarcinoma Among Patients with Barrett’s Esophagus. N Engl J Med 2011;365:1375-83.
Fleischer DE, Overholt BF, Sharma VK, et al. Endoscopic Ablation of Barrett’s Esophagus: A Multicenter Study with 2.5-year Follow-up. Gastrointest Endosc. 2008;68:867-87.
Phoa KN, Van Vilsteren FG, Pouw RE, et al. Radiofrequency Ablation in Barrett’s Esophagus with Confirmed Low-Grade Dysplasia: Interim Results of a European Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (SURF). Gastroenterology 2013;144:S-187. Page S-187, Col 1.
Orman ES, Li N, Shaheen NJ. Efficacy and Durability of Radiofrequency Ablation for Barrett's Esophagus: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11:1245-55.
Van Vilsteren FG, Pouw RE, Seewald S, et al. Stepwise Radical Endoscopic Resection Versus Radiofrequency Ablation for Barrett’s Esophagus with High-Grade Dysplasia or Early Cancer: A Multicentre Randomised Trial. Gut 2011;60:765-73. Page 765, Col 1 and Page 769, Table 2.
Phoa KN, Pouw RE, Van Vilsteren FG, et al. Remission of Barrett’s Esophagus with Early Neoplasia 5 Years after Radiofrequency Ablation with Endoscopic Resection: A Netherlands Cohort Study.
Shaheen NJ, Sharma P, Overholt BF, et al. Radiofrequency Ablation in Barrett’s Esophagus with Dysplasia. N Engl J Med 2009;360:2277-88. Page 2277, Page 2283, Figure 3.
Information and resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Always discuss diagnosis and treatment information including risks with your doctor. Keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary.