Radiofrequency Ablation

Specialists in Gastroenterology

Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in St. Louis, MO

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment technique for precancerous cells in your esophagus. At Specialists in Gastroenterology in St. Louis, Missouri, the group of world-class gastroenterologists can perform radiofrequency ablation to help you eliminate Barrett’s esophagus in its early stages. This helps you to heal fully and stay healthy long-term. Schedule your appointment through online booking or call the office today.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers radio waves to selectively ablate and destroy precancerous cells. Many branches of medicine use this type of treatment. 

The board-certified GI physicians at Specialists in Gastroenterology use radiofrequency ablation as a treatment for Barrett's esophagus. 

What is Barrett's esophagus?

Barrett's esophagus is a condition that develops when recurring acid reflux causes changes in your esophageal lining. New abnormal cells take over the normal healthy lining. Medical experts believe that these changes are the start of most cases of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, a type of esophagus cancer. 

For that reason, it's important to treat Barrett's esophagus as soon as possible. Radiofrequency ablation is the best way to eliminate the condition and prevent this type of cancer. 

How do I get ready for radiofrequency ablation?

Specialists in Gastroenterology gives you detailed instructions at least a couple of days before your treatment. Usually, this includes fasting for at least eight hours before your appointment. Your provider may also recommend temporary medication changes.

How can radiofrequency ablation treatment work? 

You receive anesthesia before the procedure. Your provider uses a thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) that is equipped with a special electrode. They thread the endoscope through your mouth and into your esophagus. 

Then, your provider delivers controlled bursts of energy at the appropriate spots within your esophagus. Your provider withdraws the endoscope and you're moved into recovery. You relax for a short period in the recovery area, and once you're alert, a loved one can take you home. 

What happens after radiofrequency ablation?

Over the next several days, you shed the treated tissue. It takes around 6-8 weeks to regrow a healthy esophageal lining. 

After your procedure, you typically continue your proton pump inhibitor to decrease acid reflux and a tissue-coating medication to prevent discomfort too. Be sure to follow your medication regimen closely to have the most comfortable recovery.  

Your provider may recommend a soft diet for a few days after your radiofrequency ablation procedure. Generally, you can return to work the day after your procedure. 

How many radiofrequency ablation treatments will I need?

It can vary with the case, so one treatment might be enough. You could need a repeat treatment or as many as three separate radiofrequency ablation sessions for maximum treatment efficacy. This treatment is a process and repeat treatments are needed to assure elimination of the Barrett's esophagus and regrowth of new normal esophagus tissue.

Specialists in Gastroenterology offers the most advanced treatment available for Barrett’s esophagus. Book your appointment online or call the office to learn more today.