Barrett's Esophagus | Normal Function of the Esophagus | GERD | GERD & Barrett's Esophagus | Barrett's Esophagus & Esophageal Cancer | Diagnosis and Screening | Treatment | Screening for Dysplasia and Cancer | Treatment for Dysplasia & Esophageal Cancer | Points to Remember | Why Come Here?
Treatment for Dysplasia or Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
If a person with Barrett's esophagus is found to have high-grade dysplasia or cancer, the doctor will discuss treatment options. These options include:
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) -- a light-sensitizing drug and laser are used to destroy the abnormal tissue. Extensive data is available on the success and risks of PDT. The drawbacks of PDT include pain after the procedure, risk of stricture (esophageal scarring), and need to avoid direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks.
Cryotherapy -- the tissue is destroyed by exposing the cells to extreme cold using liquid nitrogen. Early results from this technique show similar success rates to PDT for removal of the abnormal tissue with significantly less side effects.
Radiofrequency ablation -- is a very localized treatment that kills the abnormal cells with heat. Doctors at the University of Maryland are using the HALO Ablation System, which consists of a catheter with a balloon at the tip for delivering short bursts of energy to the treatment area.