What is HALO Radiofrequency Ablation?

HALO radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a non-surgical, incisionless endoscopic procedure for Barrett’s esophagus and early squamous cell cancer in-situ. This procedure targets only the layer of diseased tissue without harming the healthy structures underneath it.

Most patients need an average of 2 to 3 treatment sessions to completely treat the affected tissue. Sessions are usually performed every two to three months until there are no more visible lesions. Then a doctor will take biopsy samples of your esophagus, similar to previous surveillance endoscopies, to confirm there is no further residual disease.

Benefits & Risks

HALO radiofrequency ablation is considered a very safe procedure, with a high percentage of recipients cleared of Barrett’s esophagus and its associated symptoms. 

As with any procedure, HALO RFA carries some complications, including:

  • Stricture
  • Bleeding
  • Perforation of the stomach, esophagus, or pharynx

What to Expect

You will be given specific instructions to prepare for your procedure. 

Before treatment, you may be required to stop certain medications. Consult with your physician about any current medications. You may have solid food up to 6 hours before your procedure and only clear fluids (i.e., water, apple juice, Gatorade) up until 2 hours before.

HALO Radiofrequency Ablation is an outpatient procedure and can take between 30-60 minutes. While sedated, the device is inserted through your mouth into the esophagus. Quick bursts of controlled heat remove a small layer of the diseased esophagus while avoiding injury to normal healthy tissue. HALO RFA procedures are performed without incisions, and patients go home the same day.

Patients can expect mild discomfort lasting two to four days. Most patients are able to work and perform their normal daily activities during this time.

Continued surveillance will range from every 1-3 years.