Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the esophagus is exposed to the acid gastric contents of the stomach.  With prolonged acid exposure, the normal lining of the esophagus may be converted to a lining which is more resistant to the effects of acid reflux, so called “Barrett’s Esophagus” and individuals have a 40 to 130 times higher incidence of developing esophageal cancer than those without the condition.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital has initiated an innovative new outpatient treatment that greatly reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.

According to Stephen Steinberg, MD, FACP, FACG, Director of the Pancreas & Biliary Center at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, pre-cancers and even early cancers can be removed simply with a scope during an outpatient procedure. Once this has been accomplished, the strategy is to eradicate (“ablate”) the Barrett’s Esophagus so that additional cancerous or pre-cancerous changes are prevented.

Radiofrequency ablation has become the leading method for Barrett’s ablation because of its safety and efficiency and that large or small areas can be treated.  The procedure, endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy, was recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine as a highly effective treatment for complete eradication of Barrett’s Esophagus. The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting without incisions, takes less than 30 minutes on average and is relatively pain free.

For Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s official press release on the endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy, click here.