Dr. Khoury begins new procedure at SOMC

General Vascular Surgeon Dr. Thomas Khoury is now offering a new procedure, Radiofrequency Esophageal Ablation, at Southern Ohio Medical Center. This minimally invasive procedure treats Barrett’s Esophagus, a disorder that can lead to dysplasia and even increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Dr. Khoury is the only physician in the area offering this procedure.

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the lower cells of the esophagus become damaged, often as the result of repeated exposure to stomach acid. Barrett¹s esophagus is most frequently diagnosed in people with long-term gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), also commonly known as ‘reflux,’ which is a chronic regurgitation of stomach acid into the lower Esophagus.

Radiofrequency Esophageal Ablation treats the condition by removing the damaged cells.

“This is a complete therapy for Barrett’s, which also includes stopping the reflux by surgically correcting the hiatal hernia or weak lower esophageal sphincter,” Dr. Khoury said. “So we kill the Barrett’s and stop the reflux.

“The procedure is very minimally invasive and very superficial,” Dr. Khoury added. “We basically heat the tissue of the esophagus and kill the damaged cells. The treatment takes between 30 and 40 minutes to do, and then the patient goes on with his or her life.”

Patients generally need to go through between one to three treatments. During the treatment, an endoscope with a small balloon attached to it is inserted into the esophagus. Controlled energy from radio waves is then delivered through the balloon, burning the damaged cells with which it makes contact.

“Patients that have these abnormal cells are at risk of developing esophageal cancer. Our goal is to address that risk by eliminating those cells,” Dr. Khoury said.

Over 90 percent of patients, in most trials, have experienced complete Barrett’s eradication after undergoing treatment.