Barrx™ in Illinois
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What is Barrx?
Barrett's esophagus is an issue when the regular tissue lining of the esophagus alters to match the intestinal cells. This issue, related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), puts patients at a higher risk for esophageal cancer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, the GI specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois offer Barrx as a safe and effective treatment option. Barrx is a radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy in which RF energy is delivered to the esophagus through a catheter, removing diseased tissue and reducing energy to healthy tissue. For more information on Barrx and if it's a good solution for you, contact your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois location in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Normal, IL, to request a consultation.
What can I expect before my Barrx procedure?
Prior to your Barrx procedure, we will give you some specific instructions to ensure your procedure runs as smoothly as possible. We may suggest you stop taking some of your medications a week prior to your appointment; if you take blood thinners or are a diabetic, we will work with you to make the safest decisions possible. Twenty-four hours before you're procedure, you'll need to stop eating solid foods — this includes hard candy and gum. You may continue to have clear liquids until four hours prior to your procedure. You will also need to arrange for a trusted friend or family member to drive you home from your Barrx procedure. If you have any questions about the instructions leading up to your procedure, please contact your GI Alliance of Illinois provider.
What happens on the day of my Barrx procedure?
We'll ask you to arrive at the endoscopy center about an hour prior to your procedure. This gives us time to get you checked in, have you change into a medical gown, and perform any necessary pre-procedure tasks. We ask that you do not wear contacts or lotion on your chest or arms. Once we take you to your treatment room, we will attach you to the equipment that will monitor your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure during your procedure. Once you are comfortable on the procedure table, we will administer IV sedation.
Once you've fallen asleep, we will insert the endoscope through your mouth and snake it down to your esophagus. For larger areas of Barrett's esophagus, we may use a balloon-mounted catheter to perform the treatment. The radiofrequency energy will remove a small layer of the diseased tissue. In fact, about one second of energy removes about one millimeter of tissue. This equation and the ability to regulate the amount of heat released allows us to carefully control the amount of diseased tissue that we are able to remove, which provides a lower rate of complication than other ablation treatments. The Barrx procedure typically lasts between 30 – 60 minutes.
After your procedure, we will take you to a recovery area where a member of our team will be with you while you wake up from sedation. After post-op screenings, you will be released to leave with a responsible driver.
What can I expect when recovering from Barrx?
Before you're released, we will go over at-home care instructions to ensure you heal properly. It's important to follow the instructions we give you, which include:
- No alcohol for 24 hours after your procedure.
- Drink liquids and eat soft foods (mashed potatoes, oatmeal, eggs, ice cream, yogurt), as tolerated, for the 2 days following your procedure.
After your procedure, you may experience some symptoms, such as
- Sore throat
- Chest discomfort
- Trouble or pain with swallowing
- Nausea (feeling like you might throw up)
- Vomiting (throwing up)
While these symptoms should get better each day, feel free to reach out to our Illinois location if you need help managing them. If you take blood thinners or diabetic medications, we will let you know when it's safe to begin taking those again.
We will schedule a follow-up appointment for about 2 – 3 months after your Barrx treatment. At this appointment, we'll check your overall healing progress as well as check for any additional Barrett's esophagus tissues that were not eliminated during your procedure. If necessary, additional treatments may be suggested.
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Treat Barrett's esophagus with Barrx
If you have been diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, it's important to seek out treatment right away. Treating this condition is relatively easier earlier on and can reduce your chances of developing esophageal cancer. At GI Alliance of Illinois, we use Barrx to treat Barrett's esophagus in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, and Normal, IL. Our skilled providers use this cutting-edge procedure to eliminate unhealthy tissues in the esophagus while protecting healthy tissues. For more information on Barrx treatment in Illinois, contact your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois location to request a consultation.
Mitchell Bernsen is a great doctor and person.
Great experience with doctor and nurse
(Translated by Google) Exelestly (Original) Exselente
His communications with a patient was careful listening and supportive. I was impressed and relieved with his thoughtful and trustful follow-up.