Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
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What is radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a pain-management, and treatment technique. The procedure uses an electrical current from a radio wave focused on a small area of tissue, decreasing the pain signals from that nerve, and destroying bad tissue in the area.
Radiofrequency ablation is commonly used in the GI setting to treat cases of Barrett’s esophagus. This is typically done during an upper endoscopy using a balloon, such as with the Barrx™ system, or a rectangular pad attached to the end of the endoscope. The electrodes on the device deliver electrical currents to the affected tissue, destroying and removing it. Learn more about radiofrequency ablation and how it can help your life, and connect with a GI doctor at GI Alliance for additional information.
Who is a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is most commonly used to treat Barrett’s esophagus and gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE)- a condition of abnormal blood vessels in the stomach that causes anemia.
Barrx is a new treatment option for Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that can often result from chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD.
A GI physician performs it in conjunction with an upper endoscopy; it does not require any incisions or surgery. After the scope is inside the esophagus, radiofrequency energy (heat) is emitted to kill diseased cells. Once the diseased cells have been removed, new and healthy cells can replace them.
These abnormal (diseased) cells in the esophagus can become cancerous. This procedure of ablating or removing cells can prevent the tissue from developing into cancer. Schedule to undergo this treatment at GI Alliance with one of our GI doctors to help with your condition.
What are the advantages of the Barrx system?
Barrx is a minimally invasive, non-surgical option to treat and repair damage to the esophagus. Another unique advantage is that the Barrx procedure is performed during an upper endoscopy so no additional prep or adjustments need to be made by the patient.
The Barrx procedure is a very low-risk and effective way to repair a damaged esophagus for the three million Americans who suffer from Barrett's esophagus. Our GI specialists at GI Alliance will work with you to determine the best option for your needs. Contact them for more information.
Is radiofrequency ablation painful?
The procedure itself is not usually painful, as the patient is sedated during the procedure. It is, however, common for the patient to feel chest pain and discomfort swallowing for no longer than seven days after the procedure. It is important to follow the pain regimen that your GI doctor at GI Alliance provides to help manage any pain after the procedure. Schedule a consultation to learn more about what to expect.
Is radiofrequency ablation safe?
As with any medical procedure, there are always risks involved. With radiofrequency ablation (RFA) there are very few associated risks. Some risks could include infection, reaction to anesthesia, and bleeding. Talk to your GI physician at GI Alliance about any concerns you may have regarding the procedure and your specific risks.
What should I do to prepare for my radiofrequency ablation treatment?
You will need to “clean out” your stomach and bowels prior to the procedure. Your doctor will give you a special laxative to drink the day before the exam, and you will likely need to fast. Be sure to discuss specific instructions for preparation with your gastrointestinal physician before your RFA procedure at GI Alliance.
I have seen other doctors at this clinic in the last few years, but I feel much more comfortable with Dr. Hughston. He is easy to talk to and all about doing what he can to help with my gastro issues.
Very professional and thoughtful. Definitely recommend Dr. Mahajani and the staff.
Dr. Robertson actually spends time with you in the exam room. He is genuinely interested in your problems and your care. I highly recommend him.
Dr. Marquis is very helpful and professional and saved me over 30 dollars a month on my medication! Very much recommend!
He was adept and friendly, everyone was making sure that I was comfortable with the discussion, and they set up the actual procedure at a hospital nearby.