At Iredell Health System, we offer a nonsurgical procedure known as endoscopy that allows our physicians to examine your digestive tract. This procedure is usually performed for those who may be at risk for esophagus cancer or similar conditions that require surveillance of the digestive tract.
By inserting a tube with an attached camera and light (endoscope), we can view pictures of your digestive tract on a monitor, getting a better understanding of what is going on inside your body. Our physicians may need to order an upper or lower gastrointestinal endoscopy or bronchoscopy, depending on what type of gastrointestinal or pulmonary ailment you are suffering from.
Identifying esophageal cancer & other conditions
Endoscopic biopsy surveillance can be used to help assess a patient's condition, especially if they are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This extended acid exposure can cause the cells in the esophagus to be more vulnerable to cancer. Barrett's esophagus disease commonly results and is known to be a precursor to esophageal cancer.
Once an endoscopy is performed, a treatment plan must be devised if Barrett's is identified. Iredell Health System takes our mission to fight against esophageal cancer, one of the fastest growing forms of cancer in America, very seriously. That is why we are excited to offer a new, state-of-the-art procedure that provides proactive treatment solutions for our patients.
Minimally invasive procedure for esophageal cancer
At Iredell Health System, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive, award-winning care to our patients. In response to our commitment to provide this exceptional patient experience, we are excited to begin offering the most advanced, nonsurgical treatment for Barrett's esophagus disease.
Though the typical solution is to simply monitor and make sure the disease does not progress to cancer, using the BARRX RFA System by Medtronic GI Solutions, we can now take a proactive approach to treating Barrett's disease. As an endoscope-mounted ablation system, it allows for uniformed and controlled treatment that does not cause any injury to healthy tissues.
There are two main components that make up the system:
- Ablative energy generator.
- Ablation catheter.
The catheter has a small electrode that may be mounted on the end of an endoscope or be inserted through the channel of the scope to get to the esophageal anatomy. From there, the physician can direct the catheter to the specific diseased area in the patient's esophagus. While the patient is sedated, the energy generator is then activated to deliver bursts of controlled heat to remove less than a millimeter of the diseased esophagus. By destroying precancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus, this procedure paves the way for new, healthy tissue to grow back within just weeks.
Have questions about this new, advanced procedure? Need to set up an appointment with us? Contact Iredell Health System today for more information.