"We can actually get rid of the abnormal cells which lead to esophageal cancer so this is actually a treatment as opposed to surveillance."
Dr. Garth Garramone is referring to a disease known as Barrett's Esophagus. It's a rare but often deadly type of cancer in the esophagus. But who can suffer from Barrett's Esophagus? Dr. Garramone said, "Basically people with gastro esophageal reflux disease which usually manifests as heart burn, regurgitation, belching, burping, bloating, chest discomfort, sometimes hoarseness or a feeling of something stuck in the throat."
Dr. Garramone advises those suffering from GERD to contact a local doctor and have a gastroscopy. From there your doctor can send you to St. Elizabeth's for treatment. Dr. Garramone explains the procedure once you get to St. Elizabeth's,"Basically what you do is come to our office we would do a consultation, tell you about the treatment which would condsist of undergoing a gastrocopy with radio frequency ablation of the abnormal mucoso, if thats what you had on biopsy."
One of the biggest question patients might have is, how effective is it? "The treatment has been looked at for the three to five years and right now the three to five year data on efficacy is very very good, it has a very good safety profile with less than point six percent of complication rate. And the effectiveness is more than ninety percent for low and high grade displasia which is really what leads to esophageal cancer." Dr. Garramone said.