How does my physician know I have Barrett's Esophagus (BE)?
A physician determines whether you may have BE by performing a procedure known as an esogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or gastroscopy. A flexible tube with a camera on the end and a light source(an endoscope) is passed down your throat in order to look for abnormalities on the lining of the esophagus. Traditionally, it has been difficult for a physician to pinpoint the abnormalities with the endoscope alone, so he/she would take random tissue samples (biopsies) and send them to a laboratory for further analysis.
The biopsies are then analyzed by a pathologist, which may take from a few days to a few weeks. If anything suspicious is found, your physician will bring you back to discuss the next steps in surveillance and/or therapy.
A number of different treatment procedures and techniques can be recommended. These treatment options require careful evaluation and follow up so as to ensure a complete removal of Barrett's Esophagus.
What are some of the latest medical advancements augmenting an EGD procedure that physicians are relying on to help make a better management of patients with BE?
Now physicians have access to an imaging tool called Cellvizio® that helps them identify potentially malignant tissue more precisely right during the endoscopy procedure. Cellvizio, the world’s smallest and most flexible microscope, fits into almost any endoscope and allows the physician to view the lining of the esophagus at the cellular level. This new technique is called probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy (pCLE).
With that level of detail, physicians benefit from additional information available to them that may help them decide how to treat the patient on the spot. This may lead to an immediate response, fewer procedures and a shorter lag time between the initial procedure and a potential therapy. See what leading experts on the management and treatment of Barrett's Esophagus, such as Prof. Charles Lightdale or Prof. Ken Chang are saying about the benefits of using Cellvizio.
Is Cellvizio safe to use?
Who is using Cellvizio for upper endoscopy today?
Visit our Physician Locator to find a Cellvizio expert in your region.
I would like to know more about this technique. What information is available ?