Reflux testing and treatment

Harry's story

Harry didn't realize the damage his chronic reflux could have on his health until he was diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus. Learn how Harry and his doctors took action to treat his Barrett's esophagus and reduce his risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma.


Learning about his diagnosis

Harry had “been taking over-the-counter medicine for years,” and thought his gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was “under control” until his doctors discovered he had Barrett’s esophagus with advanced high-grade dysplasia (HGD), which is the precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus.

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 esophagus cancer.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.

Harry believes:

If I had not had this procedure, then I would have cancer of my esophagus.

Treating Barrett's with radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to remove tissue damaged by Barrett’s esophagus. The Barrx™ 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 marvelous."

Now clear of Barrett’s esophagus, Harry works hard to reduce the risk that his Barrett's comes 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.

The testimonial above relates to an account of an individual’s experience with a Medtronic device. The account is genuine, typical and documented. However, this individual’s experience does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response or experience other people may have using the device. The experience other individuals have with the device could be different. Experiences can and do vary.

Please talk to your doctor about your condition and the risks and benefits of Medtronic devices.

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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.


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;76(6):1087–1094.


De Jonge PJ et al. Risk of Malignant Progression in Patients with Barrett’s Oesophagus: A Dutch Nationwide Cohort Study. Gut 2010;59:1030–1036.


Pohl H, Welch G. The Role of Overdiagnosis and Reclassification in the Marked Increase of Oesophagus Adenocarcinoma Incidence. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97(2):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(5):867–76.


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. 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 FGI, 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. Gastroenterology 2013;145:96–104.


Shaheen NJ, Sharma P, Overholt BF, et al. Radiofrequency Ablation in Barrett’s Esophagus with Dysplasia. N Engl J Med 2009;360:(22)2277–88. Page 2277, Page 2283, Figure 3.