TriStar Centennial August 07, 2013

HALO System featured in New England Journal of Medicine as a highly effective treatment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 7, 2013) – An innovative, minimally-invasive outpatient treatment that destroys pre-cancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus is being performed at TriStar Centennial Medical Center.

The procedure, endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy using the HALO System, has been featured in the New England Journal of Medicine as a highly effective treatment for the eradication of Barrett’s esophagus. During the 30 minute procedure, an ablation catheter is positioned on the abnormal esophageal tissue and using controlled bursts of heat, the physician removes a very thin layer of the diseased esophagus.

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where cells of the esophageal lining are damaged, most commonly as a result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a severe form of acid reflux and is becoming increasingly more common across the nation. It is estimated that Barrett’s esophagus affects up to six percent of the U.S. population with the average age at diagnosis being 55. Men develop Barrett’s esophagus twice as often as women and Caucasian men are affected more often than men of other races.

“While GERD is not an indication of Barrett’s esophagus, it is a precursor to the condition since overexposure of acid to the esophageal lining is known to cause cell mutation. Left untreated, as many as 15 percent of patients with GERD are diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, which in turn can increase a patient’s risk for esophageal cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer,” said Frist Clinic gastroenterologist Jon Schneider, M.D. “The ablation procedure allows us to quickly and effectively treat this condition, eliminating the need for major surgery, which until recently was the standard of care.”

To learn more about this minimally-invasive procedure or to schedule a consultation with a TriStar Centennial Medical Center gastroenterologist, call TriStar MedLine® at (615) 342-1919.

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