Acid reflux, or GERD, can damage the lining of the esophagus, leading to Barrett's esophagus. Dignity Health-affiliated lung and esophageal specialists use the BARRX Medical HALO ablation technology for treatment of Barrett's esophagus - a condition which has the potential to lead to esophageal cancer.
Early identification and removal of Barrett's tissue can prevent the development of cancerous tissues in the esophagus. Clinical studies have demonstrated the Barrett's tissue can be completely eliminated with the HALO ablation technology in 98.4% of patients.1
Treatment Using HALO Ablation Technology
"Ablation" is a technique where tissue is heated until it is no longer viable or alive. Physicians have used various forms of ablation for nearly a century to treat a number of cancerous and precancerous conditions, as well as to control bleeding. The HALO ablation technology is a very specific type of ablation, in which heat energy is delivered in a precise and highly-controlled manner.
Barrett's esophagus tissue is very thin and is therefore a good candidate for removal with ablative energy. Delivery of ablative energy with the HALO ablation technology is therefore capable of achieving complete removal of the diseased tissue without damage to the normal underlying structures.
What Happens During Treatment With The HALO Ablation Technology?
Ablation therapy is performed in conjunction with upper endoscopy. The treatment is performed in an outpatient setting and no incisions are involved.
Watch this animated video, "Procedure Animation with HALO360 Ablation Catheter," to lean more about the HALO ablation procedure.
What Should You Expect After Treatment?
Patients may experience some chest discomfort and difficulty swallowing for several days after the procedure, both of which are managed with medications provided by the physician. In clinical trials, these symptoms typically resolved within 3-4 days. Patients are provided with anti-acid medications to promote healing of the treated esophagus and replacement of the diseased Barrett's tissue with a normal, healthy esophagus lining.
A follow-up appointment is scheduled within 2-3 months to assess the response to treatment. If there remains any residual Barrett's tissue, additional therapy may be recommended.
How Is GERD Managed After A Successful Ablation?
Successful elimination of the Barrett's esophagus tissue does not cure pre-existing GERD or the associated symptoms. The physician will guide the patient regarding long-term GERD therapy.
1Fleischer DE, Overholt BF, Sharma VK, et al. Long-term (2.5 year) follow-up of the AIM-II trial for ablation of Barrett esophagus: results after primary circumferential ablation followed by secondary focal ablation. Gastrointest Endosc 2007; 65: AB 135.