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Radio-frequency ablation of Barrett's oesophagus

Removal of abnormal cells from the base of your food pipe

Using heat to destroy abnormal cells that have grown where the tube from your mouth connects with your stomach

About

Barrett's oesophagus is the name given to the growth of abnormal cells in the lower part of the pipe that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. This section gets damaged by acid and bile travelling upwards from your stomach. The most common symptoms are heart burn (acid reflux) and indigestion. Radio-frequency ablation (RFA) works by using heat to destroy (ablate) any cells that are growing abnormally as a result of stomach acid damage. In limited cases these cells can become cancerous, but this usually takes many years or even decades to develop.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    The procedure is carried out under deep sedation or general anaesthetic. Once you are asleep, after careful inspection of your food pipe, a special device called an ablation catheter is passed down into the pipe and the abnormal cells are very carefully burned away.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. In order to prepare you may be asked to: - Provide your consultant with detailed information on your medical history. This can include previous surgeries, other conditions you might have and medication you are taking - Follow advice on food and drink intake prior to the procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    The risk of complications following radio-frequency ablation is low, but the procedure may cause bleeding or infection. Side effects can include: - pain or discomfort - slight fever - generally feeling unwell. Sometimes you may need to spend a night in the hospital before you are allowed to return home.
Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments. 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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