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Radio Frequency Ablation is a relatively new procedure that has had significant success with Barretts esophagus and High Grade Dysplagia. It can also be spelled Radiofrequency Ablation.
The procedure is also used as the acronym RFA.
RFA is typically a fairly short outpatient procedure that lasts around thirty minutes. Barretts Esophagus diagnosis has already been made with these patients that have abnormal, pre-cancerous tissue conditions.
It is considered a noninavasive procedure because there are no incisions made cutting into tissue and only radio wave energy is used.
The patient is sedated in an outpatient setting with medication in an I.V. to relax him/her. There is no need for a general anesthetic with this treatment. An endoscope is then inserted in the patients throat down to the effected area of the esophagus where it connects to the stomach. This is the area of concern with dysplasia and abnormal cells. A probe/catheter with a balloon at the end is inserted down the endoscope to the diseased tissue.
The balloon is inflated and pressed next to the dysplasia tissue and radio frequency energy waves are delivered heating and burning the bad cells. Probes can also be inserted directly into the high grade dysplagia heating and burning the bad cells and tissues.
RFA has been viewed as a promising endoscopic treatment due to the fact that the diseased tissue is treated and healthy tissue is not affected by the treatment. It is also looked upon as fairly safe and effective.
After RFA, within a certain time the doctor then schedules an endoscopy to view the area treated for any remaining (abnormal cells). If cells are present he will repeat the procedure a few more times.
The outcome for RFA has been very favorable in two to three treatments and is used for many types of cancers in other areas of the body.
The National Institute of Cancer has an interesting study by the New England Journal of Medicine, May 28, 2009 with 127 patients
that might interest you.
Radiofrequency Ablation Effective Against Barrett Esophagus
There have been hundreds of new studies and RFA is becoming a well known procedure for Barretts esophagus.
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