Barryx Ablation

Understanding Barryx Ablation for Barrett’s Esophagus with Dysplasia

What is Barrett’s Esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes, becoming more like the lining of the small intestine rather than the esophagus. This occurs in the area where the esophagus is joined to the stomach. It is believed that the main reason that Barrett’s esophagus develops is because of chronic inflammation resulting from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Barrett’s esophagus is more common in people who have had GERD for a long period of time or who developed it at a young age. It is interesting that the frequency or the intensity of GERD symptoms, such as heartburn, does not affect the likelihood that someone will develop Barrett’s esophagus. Most patients with Barrett’s esophagus will not develop cancer. In some patients, however, a precancerous change in the tissue, called dysplasia, will develop. That precancerous change is more likely to develop into esophageal cancer. At the current time, a diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus can only be made using endoscopy and detecting a change in the lining of the esophagus that can be confirmed by a biopsy of the tissue. The definitive diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus requires biopsy confirmation of the change in the lining of the esophagus.

What is dysplasia?
Dysplasia is a precancerous condition that doctors can only diagnose by examining tissue samples under a microscope. When dysplasia is seen in the tissue sample, it is usually described as being “high-grade,” “low-grade” or “indefinite for dysplasia.”
  • In high-grade dysplasia, abnormal changes are seen in many of the cells and there is an abnormal growth pattern of the cells.
  • Low-grade dysplasia means that there are some abnormal changes seen in the tissue sample but the changes do not involve most of the cells, and the growth pattern of the cells is still normal.
  • “Indefinite for dysplasia” simply means that the pathologist is not certain whether changes seen in the tissue are caused by dysplasia. Other conditions, such as inflammation or swelling of the esophageal lining, can make cells appear dysplastic when they may not be.
What is Barrx Ablation?
Barrx ablation is a technique where thermal (heat) energy is delivered in a precise and highly controlled manner to the affected tissue until it is no longer alive. The procedure is currently indicated for those patients with low grade, high grade and cancer confined to the  most superficial layer of the esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is very thin and is, therefore, a good candidate for removal with ablative energy.    Clinical studies have demonstrated the Barrett’s tissue can be completely eliminated with Barrx ablation technology in 98.4 percent of patients.The doctor performs ablation therapy during an upper endoscopy.  No incisions are involved.  The doctor threads a balloon catheter into the esophagus to deliver the energy to the targeted areas.  pain, heartburn, and/or difficulty swallowing.

What can I expect from the Barryx Procedure:
The procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes.  Most patients will experience some pain in the chest area, pain upon swallowing and difficulty swallowing for several days  following the procedure.  Upon discharge, specific instructions on diet and medications are given.  The procedure is repeated every 3 months until the Barrett’s lining to a normal esophageal lining.  Most patients require 2-3 treatments and once the Barrett’s lining is reversed, repeat endoscopy with biopsies are required on a yearly basis.

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