July 8, 2008
Dr. Daniel S. Camara and Dr. Stanley J. Pietrak, both Gastroenterologists at Sisters Hospital, are the first in Western New York to offer the HALO System treatment to patients with Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition caused by chronic acid reflux disease or GERD. The HALO System procedure, which typically takes less than half an hour, is performed without incisions in an outpatient setting. The HALO System is the first in a new generation of “vaporizing” tools to treat Barrett’s esophagus. This procedure removes a thin layer of diseased tissue while allowing the re-growth of normal cells without injuring healthy underlying tissue. The diseased tissue in most patients is replaced by new healthy tissue within three to four weeks.
An estimated 33.3 million American adults have Barrett’s esophagus and more than 60 percent of them have short segments of diseased tissue at the junction where the esophagus meets the stomach. Although the risk is low, if left untreated, Barrett’s esophagus can lead to a dangerous type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is currently the most rapidly rising cancer in the U.S. Until now, there have been very few treatment options for this condition. Now that technology is available to treat Barrett’s disease before it progresses to cancer, there is an opportunity to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with the disease.