Barrett’s esophagus is known to increase the risk of esophageal cancer many times compared to normal. Estimates indicate that the risk increase is 40-120 times normal, and 0.5% of Barrett’s patients will develop cancer each year.
- Regular screenings – Patients with Barrett’s esophagus should have regular endoscopic examinations, and will require extensive endoscopic biopsies, done at the time of EGD, to evaluate for further changes that indicate an even higher risk of cancer. These changes, called dysplasia, are associated with a significant chance of cancer development, and require closer surveillance or additional, more aggressive treatment than medicine alone.
- HALO Procedure – One strategy for managing Barrett’s esophagus is to destroy the abnormal tissue with radiofrequency waves. This endoscopically administered radiofrequency ablation, or HALO procedure, has been shown to be effective in eliminating Barrett’s tissue. After ablation, patients may choose to continue medical therapy or undergo surgery to control their GERD. Dr. Graybeal has extensive experience in performing the HALO procedure.
Some patients will have high grade dysplasia which can be removed endoscopically, rather than destroyed. Still others may be considered at such high risk of invasive esophageal cancer with their Barrett’s that only surgical removal will be considered reliably safe treatment.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have Barrett’s esophagus or suffer from regular heartburn or swallowing problems, Dr. Graybeal has two decades of experience diagnosing, treating and curing patients with esophageal disorders. We do all screening and treatment planning in-house and recommend the best treatment approach.
Call us at 770-219-9200 or use our online contact form to request an appointment.