Diseases & Conditions
Barrett's Esophagus – Treatments
How is Barrett's Esophagus Treated?
Barrett's esophagus may be treated in a number of ways. These include:
Surveillance. Your physician may opt for watchful waiting to see if and how your cells change.
Mucosal ablation. For this treatment, energy will be applied to the mucosal lining of the esophagus, destroying precancerous cells and allowing the mucosal lining to regrow. It is important that reflux is controlled to allow normal healing of the esophagus. There are two types of mucosal ablation used for Barrett's esophagus and both types are administered with an endoscopy:
Radiofrequency ablation with Barx ablation. Heat energy is applied to any areas of intestinal metaplasia to destroy the cells and allow replacement with normal appearing esophagus cells.
Cryoablation. Cold energy is applied to any areas of intestinal metaplasia.
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR). This treatment option is used particularly if there is a raised area in the mucosal lining that is more concerning for cancer. EMR involves using special tools to lift and cut abnormal lesions or tumors from the esophageal lining.
The goal of treatment is to remove abnormal cells and encourage healthy cells to replace them and grow. If you have severe cell changes in different parts of the esophagus, we may recommend surgery and removal of most of the esophagus, as this may be the most promising approach.
The following lifestyle changes may be helpful in controlling reflux:
- Eating smaller, more frequent meals
- Controlling your weight and avoiding obesity
- Raising the head of your bed 30 degrees
- Avoiding lying down 3-4 hours after eating
- Quitting smoking