If you have chronic acid reflux you are at risk for developing Barrett's Esophagus; a precursor to cancer of the esophagus. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a minimally invasive procedure that can burn away your chance of getting this type of cancer.
David Sells from Brandon is going back in for his second ablation treatment for Barrett's Esophagus with Avera Gastroenterologist Dr. Steve Condron. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. If you have chronic acid reflux the area at the base of the esophagus can develop Barrett's tissue: a precursor to esophageal cancer.
"We use a new and evolving technique called radio frequency ablation and what that allows us to do is remove the Barrett's tissue and the cure rate for patients who undergo the procedure is about 97% and we have more than 5 years of data to show that is truly a cure. Barrett's does not come back, "Gastroenterologist Dr. Steve Condron with Avera Medical Group Gastroenterology said.
During his second look, Dr. Condron did find two more little islands of Barrett's tissue which he says is very common to not get it all the first time.
"On the end of the endoscope place a small catheter that delivers radio frequency. The computer decides how much energy to apply to the tissue. All I do is put that small probe in the appropriate position and with the pedal the computer makes the decision how much energy to deliver to the tissue. Essentially it's a chemical peel or thermal peel to the esophagus that we are only burning off the surface layer which allows normal tissue to grow back up it's its absence, "Dr. Condron said.
Barrett's Esophagus often times has no symptoms. The only reason David had an upper endoscopy done in the first place is because his older brother was diagnosed in September 2011 with cancer of the esophagus. He had chemo and radiation and is cancer free now. Both were smokers, both suffered from reflux for about 30 years.
"I'm anxious to have a clean bill of health and everything is fine. I've changed. I've quit smoking, eating habits changed. Don't think I'll ever be acid free but hopefully it's controlled now. I'm hoping the Barrett's tissue taken care of so I don't have to worry about cancer, "David said.
Hopefully the next time he sees Dr. Condron David will be worry free. He is definitely one treatment closer to being Barrett's free.
It's advised that if you are 40 and older and have a long history of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) you should get screened for Barrett's Esophagus.
For more information go to: http://www.avera.org/clinics/gastroenterology/index.aspx