Treating Barrett esophagus with radiofrequency ablation
About 10% of patients with chronic reflux have Barrett esophagus.4,5 Why some patients with GERD develop Barrett esophagus while others don't is unclear.6
Barrett esophagus is associated with an increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma.7,8 (See Gauging the cancer risk.) The incidence of this once rare cancer has increased by more than 500% since the 1970s. The cancer remains highly lethal, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 15%.9,10
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive procedure for treating Barrett esophagus, is gaining traction with gastrointestinal (GI) specialists. This article will define Barrett esophagus, discuss RFA and other treatment options, and present nursing care for patients being treated for this disorder.