Cryotherapy for Barrett’s Esophagus now available at Fort Worth hospital

Medical City Fort Worth is the first hospital in Fort Worth and one of only two in North Texas to offer cryotherapy treatment for patients diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition, the hospital announced in a news release.

The procedure uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy precancerous cells in the esophagus before they can become cancer. Cryotherapy can also be used on patients who are in the early stages of esophageal cancer.

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where the lining of the esophagus can take on the characteristics of the stomach or intestines after years of exposure to stomach acid most commonly caused by gastrointestinal reflux disease, also known as GERD, the news release said. The changes in the lining to the esophageal cells is the body’s way of protecting itself from erosive acid caused by GERD, but eventually the cells can become cancerous.

“Cryotherapy treatment for patients with Barrett’s esophagus is a very effective outpatient procedure used to destroy pre-cancerous cells before they turn malignant and to treat early cancer of the esophagus without the need for major surgery,” said Damien Mallat, M.D., a gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Medical City Fort Worth.

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“If you have suffered with untreated GERD over the years and are having symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain or difficulty swallowing, I would encourage you to visit your physician. Treatment options are available and you want to diagnose and treat your condition as quickly as possible,” Mallat said.

Cryotherapy for Barrett’s esophagus is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure which enables the patient to go home the same day, the hospital said. Multiple cryotherapy sessions may be required to completely eliminate abnormal cells.

– FWBP Staff