If you have a condition called Barrett's esophagus, it can sometimes result in precancerous cell changes. The experienced team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. can remove these cells using minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation. The practice offers radiofrequency ablation services at its offices located in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, and Pasadena, Maryland. Call the office nearest you to find out more or book an appointment online today.
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that removes precancerous cells from the tissues lining your esophagus.
This minimally invasive procedure works by emitting high-frequency radio waves that destroy the abnormal cells to prevent them from forming malignant tumors.
You might need to undergo radiofrequency ablation if you have a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which sometimes develops in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The primary symptom of GERD is chronic acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus. This reflux is due to a problem with the lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle that should close tightly to keep the acid in your stomach.
Continual acid reflux damages the esophageal tissues. The damage triggers changes in the cells that make them the same as those lining your intestines. In some patients with Barrett's esophagus, the damaged cells eventually enter a precancerous stage (dysplasia).
Radiofrequency ablation is an effective way of eliminating cells displaying dysplasia before esophageal cancer develops.
Before undergoing radiofrequency ablation, you need to stop eating and taking certain medications. Your gastroenterologist at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates provides you with all the information you need to prepare for the procedure.
Before the procedure begins, you’re given a local anesthetic to numb your throat and a sedative to keep you relaxed. First, your provider performs an upper endoscopy to view the lining of your esophagus and assess the cell changes. Then they can calculate how deep the radiofrequency energy needs to go.
Radiofrequency ablation uses electromagnetic coils that are attached to a balloon. Your provider directs the heat energy to the target area, adjusting the coils and the frequency level to destroy the dysplastic cells.
You should expect some pain for a few days after your radiofrequency ablation procedure as the dead tissue sloughs away and your esophagus starts to heal. Your provider can prescribe medication to help control any discomfort.
You need to consume a liquid diet initially,and then eat only soft food for about a week before resuming your normal diet.
If you have symptoms of Barrett's esophagus or want to find out if radiofrequency ablation could help your condition, call Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. today or book an appointment online.