Radiofrequency ablation (HALO)
Radiofrequency ablation (HALO) is a procedure used to treat a complication of GERD or acid reflux that has developed in the esophagus, a condition known as Barrett’s Esophagus.
GERD is the abbreviation for long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as acid reflux. It occurs when the stomach regurgitates acid into the esophagus. Common symptoms of GERD are heartburn, a sour, burning sensation in the upper abdomen, chronic cough, chronic laryngitis, nausea or sensation of acid regurgitating into the throat.
A small percentage of people with GERD develop Barrett’s Esophagus, in which the inner lining of the esophagus is replaced with a lining similar to intestinal tissue. Common symptoms include those found with GERD, as well as:
- Trouble Swallowing Food
- Weight Loss Because Eating is Painful
- Upper Abdominal Pain
- Dry Cough
- Vomiting Blood
- Passing Black or Bloody Stools
The most serious concern with Barrett’s Esophagus is that it increases the risk of developing a potentially fatal form of cancer known as esophageal adenocarcinoma.
What is Radiofrequency ablation (HALO)?
Radiofrequency ablation (HALO) is a procedure that uses radio waves to treat Barrett’s Esophagus. Proven to be safe and effective, this procedure uses radio waves delivered through a catheter to remove diseased tissue while keeping the healthy tissue as safe as possible. Removing or destroying diseased tissue is commonly called ablation.
HALO is a short procedure, which offers an effective alternative to the “watch and see “ method of monitoring for developing Barrett’s esophagus. It is very precise with very predictable results- over a 98.4% success rate for removing diseased esophageal tissue that’s transformed into intestinal tissue and it is particularly effective in removing precancerous tissue know as low grade or high grade dysplasia.
Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure performed at the hospital by one of our GI Associates physicians under anesthesia sedation. Smaller areas treated with endoscopic catheters, larger areas are treated with a balloon mounted catheter. Both devices are inserted through the mouth to the esophagus during an upper endoscopy procedure. The ability to deliver controlled amounts of heat or energy to the diseased tissue is what makes the occurrence of complications with this procedure much lower than with other methods of treatment.
If you have any questions about HALO procedures, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact GI Associates, and a friendly health professional will be happy to help you.