Have you been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus? Los Angeles gastroenterology specialist Peyton Berookim, MD, FACG is one of the few area doctors who offer the least invasive treatment option. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is an ultra-modern, FDA approved therapy available to prevent esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. This medical procedure is performed on an outpatient basis using endoscopic equipment. The radio waves emitted by a special electrode heat and ablate (destroy) abnormal cells in the lining of the lower esophagus. According to specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital, more than 50 clinical studies “have demonstrated successful removal of dysplasia in more than 90% of patients undergoing therapy.”
Benefits of RFA for Barrett’s Esophagus
Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and highly targeted therapy that results in a high rate of complete eradication of Barrett’s esophagus. It also reduces progression of the disease to high-grade dysplasia (precancerous cell changes) and cancer. The esophageal lining can then heal with the development of normal cells. There are several benefits of RFA:
Benefit #1: It offers an alternative to taking a “wait and see” approach. Patients don’t have to cross their fingers, hoping their condition does not turn into full-blown cancer requiring radical therapies such as removal of the esophagus.
Benefit #2: According to the National Institutes of Health, RFA is superior to photodynamic therapy, another commonly used non-surgical treatment for Barrett’s disease. It is also much less invasive than endoscopic mucosal resection. It has fewer side effects and a shorter recovery time than these other procedures.
Benefit #3: Medications and treatments such as an antacid proton pump inhibitor reduce acid reflux and are an important part of treatment for GERD. However, they do not cause reversal of existing changes. RFA does remove the abnormal cells. Used together, these therapies may offer superior protection for the esophagus and limit the potential for further cellular changes.
Procedure Overview for RFA Treatment Los Angeles
An endoscopic ultrasound (a painless imaging test using sound waves) may be needed prior to RFA to ensure the dysplasia is only in the top lining. The RFA treatment is typically an outpatient procedure performed under deep sedation to ensure patient comfort. It is similar to an EGD (upper endoscopy) since the RFA device is attached to the endoscope. An electrode of the appropriate size and shape to treat the affected area is advanced from the mouth to the esophagus and activated briefly to ablate the abnormal tissue. This procedure usually takes less than half an hour.
Patients should be driven home and can usually return to work the next day. Soreness in the throat for the first few days is normal and can be managed with medications. The ablated cells are shed over the next few days and new cells grow over the next six weeks. A follow-up EGD will determine whether or not the esophagus has completely normalized. More than one treatment may be needed to remove all the abnormal cells. Learn more about RFA treatment Los Angeles.
RFA treatment Los Angeles
With RFA treatment followed by regular monitoring, patients can prevent esophageal cancer. Beverly Hills and LA area patients can rely on Dr. Peyton Berookim for the least invasive and most effective preventive therapies. For more information about RFA treatment Los Angeles, call310.271.1122 to schedule your consultation today.