Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition of the lining of the esophagus caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Left untreated, heartburn can lead to injury and chronic inflammation of the esophagus. With prolonged acid exposure, normal cells can undergo a genetic change and transform into taller columnar cells. These Barrett’s esophagus cells can put patients at risk of developing esophageal cancer- one of the deadliest cancers.
HALO ablation technology is a very specific type of ablation, in which heat energy is delivered in a precise and highly-controlled manner, and has been used to treat Barrett’s esophagus for more than fifteen years. HALO ablation technology can completely remove the diseased tissue without damaging the normal underlying structures of the throat.
Physicians have used various forms of ablation for nearly a century to treat various types of cancerous and precancerous conditions, like Barrett’s esophagus, 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 therefore a good candidate for removal with ablative energy. HALO ablation technology is capable of achieving complete removal of the diseased tissue without damage to the normal underlying structures.
HALO ablation therapy is often performed in conjunction with upper endoscopy. The treatment is performed in an outpatient setting, and no incisions are involved. The procedure lasts about 15 minutes. At this time, The Bon Secours Harbour View Endoscopy Center is the only facility in Hampton Roads to offer this therapy.
Recovering From a HALO Procedure
After a HALO procedure, patients may experience some chest discomfort and difficulty swallowing for several days after the procedure. There are managed with medications prescribed by the physician. These symptoms usually resolve within 3-4 days. Patients typically need a few days to recover.
This recovery period usually includes a modified diet of liquid or soft foods. Patients are encouraged to eat several small meals and snacks throughout the day instead of three large meals. When swallowing is difficult, many patients can still manage soft, bland foods. Puddings, ice cream, and soups are nourishing and are usually easy to swallow. Your doctor can advise you about these and other ways to maintain a healthy diet during recovery.
A follow up appointment is usually scheduled within 2-3 months to evaluate the response to treatment. If you are experiencing a great deal of discomfort after the procedure, do not hesitate to call your doctor’s office and schedule an earlier follow-up appointment. Additional therapy may be recommended if Barrett’s tissue remains.
+ Have questions about HALO Ablation technology? Think you might be eligible for the procedure? Contact us!
+ Learn more about the state-of-the-art treatment options available at the Bon Secours Harbour View Endoscopy Center.
+ Read another article on treating Barrett’s Esophagus.