Radiofrequency Ablation for Barrett's Esophagus

Patient Information

What is Barrett’s Esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the esophageal lining changes, becoming similar to the tissue that lines the intestine. A complication of GERD, Barrett’s is more likely to occur in patients who either experienced GERD first at a young age or have had a longer duration of symptoms. The frequency and/or severity of GERD does not affect the likelihood that Barrett’s may have formed.

Dysplasia, a precancerous change in the tissue, can develop in any Barrett’s tissue. Barrett’s tissue is visible during endoscopy, although a diagnosis by endoscopic appearance alone is not sufficient. The definitive diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus requires biopsy confirmation.


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to remove precancerous tissue damaged by Barrett’s esophagus. The Barrx radiofrequency ablation system technology is designed for the removal of tissue affected by Barrett’s, while preserving the underlying healthy tissue.



Follow the instructions specified by your physician or the nursing staff. The following instructions were given to patients in certain clinical trials and are provided here as an example of what you can expect:

  • No eating or drinking after midnight the day before the procedure.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
  • If you take aspirin or blood thinning medication, you will receive instructions from your doctor about when to stop taking them before each endoscopy.


Ablation therapy is performed in conjunction with an upper endoscopy. The treatment is performed after the patient is sedated in an outpatient setting and no incisions are involved. While procedure time in clinical studies averaged 30 minutes, the actual time can vary depending on the physician’s experience and the difficulty of the case. You will be monitored after the procedure is complete.


Follow the discharge instructions provided by your physician after the RFA procedure. You may experience mild discomfort after the procedure, and your doctor may provide medications to help with your symptoms. 

Your physician will schedule a follow-up appointment within two to three months after the procedure. If any residual Barrett's tissue is found, your physician will ablate it. Regular monitoring with endoscopies and biopsies are recommended even after radiofrequency ablation therapy. 


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