What is a Barrett's Esophagus BARRX Procedure?
A BARRX treatment is a simple outpatient procedure performed during an upper endoscopy. It is a newer treatment option for those suffering from Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that can result from chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It does not require any incisions or surgery and can minimize the risk of esophageal cancer.
During an upper endoscopy, the physician visually examines your upper digestive system using a long flexible tube with a small camera at the end. A video monitor in the exam room shows images captured on camera. The physician watches the monitor and measures the areas of the esophagus that need the treatment. Once identified, he or she will then insert a BARRX device to remove any abnormal tissue.
Why It's Done
Those who suffer from Barrett’s Esophagus experience abnormal tissue that can become cancerous. The BARRX procedure allows new healthy cells to replace the affected areas of the esophagus and helps prevent cancer from developing.
What To Expect
To allow for a thorough exam, your stomach should be completely empty. This means that you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the evening before the procedure.
You may experience some chest discomfort or difficulty swallowing after the procedure, which should resolve within a few days. Your physician will be able provide you medications for these symptoms. Bleeding, infections, tears requiring surgery and reactions to anesthesia are uncommon but may occur. You should not drive or operate machinery for the remainder of the procedure day.
Your physician will be able to provide you with additional information before your procedure.
Other Types of Procedures
Your physician can frequently take esophagus tissue (biopsies) to look for cellular changes but this will not treat the condition.
Gastroenterologists treat a comprehensive range of digestive diseases with innovative diagnostic methods and medical treatments. If you have made lifestyle changes, altered your diet appropriately, and still are suffering with GERD symptoms, it may be time to consult with a surgeon.