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Ablation of Barrett's Esophagus

  • Posted on- Apr 03, 2018
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What is ablation of Barrett's esophagus?

Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the normal lining of the esophagus - the tube that carries food from the mouth to stomach - is replaced with a lining similar to that of the stomach.

Although Barrett's esophagus causes no symptoms on its own, it increases a person's chances of getting a rare type of cancer of the esophagus called esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Ablation of Barrett's esophagus is when a doctor attempts to destroy the abnormal lining in the esophagus by laser, heat, or other means, so the normal lining of the esophagus can re-grow over the destroyed abnormal lining.

Why would a doctor recommend ablation of Barrett's esophagus?

If the doctor thinks the patient may have Barrett's esophagus, he or she may perform an upper GI endoscopy to take a tissue sample, or biopsy, of the lining of your esophagus. If the study of the biopsy shows cells that may become cancerous, the doctor may recommend ablation.

What does ablation of Barrett's esophagus involve?

The patient will be given medication to make him relaxed and drowsy during the procedure. The doctor uses an endoscope - a tiny video camera mounted on a thin, flexible tube with a light at the end - to look inside the patient's esophagus and stomach. The doctor inserts the endoscope through the patient's mouth and guides it into the esophagus.

Thermal ablation uses electrical probes, lasers, or a conductive gas to directly burn off Barrett's lining. The narrow heating device is threaded down and through the endoscope. The doctor destroys the abnormal tissue, using a computer to control the heating device.

How long is the recovery after ablation of Barrett's esophagus?

The patient will need to rest in a recovery area until the effects of the patient's medication have worn off, about an hour. Someone will need to drive the patient home, and he should take it easy for the rest of the day. The patient will be able to resume his normal activities from the next day.

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