Crestwood Offers Treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus
Call 429-4979 to learn more.
Crestwood Special Procedures Department offers a treatment option for patients with Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition caused by chronic acid reflux disease or GERD. Crestwood is the only hospital in Madison County to offer this option for the management of Barrett’s esophagus.
An estimated 3.3 million American adults have Barrett’s esophagus. Although the risk is low, if left untreated, Barrett’s esophagus can lead to a dangerous type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is currently the most rapidly rising cancer in the U.S. Until now, there have been very few treatment options for this condition. Most patients receive periodical monitoring, “watchful waiting” to ensure their disease does not progress to cancer.
Barrett’s esophagus occurs when severe acid reflux, or GERD, causes the cells lining the esophagus to undergo genetic changes that can set the stage for cancer development. Barrett’s has traditionally been managed with frequent endoscopic biopsy surveillance; however, many physicians believe in a more proactive treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. One such proactive treatment is through the use of ablation which is the use of electrical energy to remove the diseased layer of cells from the esophagus. This option may eliminate the disease before it has the opportunity to progress to cancer. Following ablation the diseased tissue in most patients is replaced by new healthy tissue within three to four weeks time.
The ablation procedure, which typically takes less than half an hour, is performed without incisions using conscious sedation in an out-patient setting.
Now that technology is available to treat Barrett’s disease before it progresses to cancer, there is an opportunity to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with Barrett’s esophagus.