Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barrett's Esophagus Treatment Plan

We headed to the major university medical center that we have selected for treatment of M's condition and we were thrilled with the team that will be caring for him. In order to treat the high dysplasia/carcinoma in situ, M will have radiofrequency ablation therapy to eradicate the dysplastic cells. In basic terms, they are going to burn off the bad cells and look for healthy cells to regenerate.

The process is not simple, but thankfully, this new technology has a high success rate. The first surgery is scheduled for January 27th. M will require 3-4 surgeries total, as he has 9cm of damage, and the surgeries will be about 6 weeks apart. While he's not exactly looking forward to that, it sure beats the way Barrett's was treated only 5 years ago- removing a portion of, or all of, the esophagus. While this is a new technology, the selected medical center has been using this approach for 3 years with stellar results.

Outside of the technical information, I was so very pleased with the team that will care for M. They proved to be compassionate and experts in their field, ranked nationally as top docs for this need. What impressed me was the amount of time they took to focus on M, talk through the situation, and ask him what he understands. Wow- we spent 1.5 hours chatting with the team- unheard of in today's "hurry-up-and-on-to-the-next-appointment" culture.

Please continue to keep him, and his healing, in your prayers over the coming weeks and months!

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