Esophagoscopy & Barrett’s Procedure Instructions

Esophagoscopy is a type of endoscopy (EGD) that doesn’t require incisions. It is performed with an endoscope – a long, narrow, tube-like device with a light and a camera. This procedure allows your doctor to examine your esophagus for abnormalities, take a tissue sample (biopsy) to test for certain conditions, or perform treatments.

Barrett’s esophagus is a change in the lining of the esophagus, typically in response to chronic acid damage. It increases the risk of cancer in a significant percentage of patients. Our physicians are fully trained to treat Barrett’s esophagus using Radio Frequency Ablation. Tissue biopsy using endoscopy (EGD) can determine if you have Barrett’s esophagus. Screening may be recommended for those with uncontrolled gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who have not respond well to acid reflux treatment.

An endoscope is inserted through your nose or mouth to allow your doctor to see the inside of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This includes your esophagus, stomach and the beginning of your small intestine. It may be performed to determine what’s causing abnormal throat, stomach or intestinal symptoms. It can be used to biopsy tissue to diagnose cancer or other conditions, such as dysphagia or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

An esophagoscopy comes with only minor risks. Most complications are temporary and resolve quickly. Possible risks include sore throat, minor difficulty swallowing for a few days and, rarely, injury or tearing (perforation) of esophagus tissue.

Many methods have been investigated to eliminate (or ablate) Barrett’s esophagus: freezing (cryotherapy), laser, electrical burning (cautery), and radio-frequency energy.

The best treatment is Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA), which is energy delivered to precisely destroy (or ablate) the Barrett’s tissue. The advantage of this method over others is the very precise depth of energy penetration, which decreases the frequency of complications.

The physicians of Eugene Gastroenterology Consultants are fully trained in using Radio Frequency Ablation to treat Barrett’s esophagus in those patients in whom ablation (or destruction) of Barrett’s esophagus is felt to be appropriate. At this time, not every patient with Barrett’s esophagus needs to undergo Radio Frequency Ablation. If you are interested in this treatment but are not sure if you are an appropriate candidate, please make an office appointment to discuss this option in detail.


When your procedure is scheduled, you will be given specific instruction for preparing for your exam. The prep instructions vary, depending on the time of your appointment, as well as other factors. If you have any questions regarding your prep, contact us.


You may experience a sore throat following the procedure, which may last several hours. You may find warms drinks soothing. You may also take Tylenol for minor discomfort. If your pain becomes severe, please contact us.

After ablation of Barrett’s esophagus, it is common to experience significant chest pain that may last for several days. Sometimes, the pain is severe enough that even drinking water may be very uncomfortable. Your physician has provided prescriptions for pain control and stomach acid control. Please use these medications, as directed by your physician. The chest pain should gradually resolve. If your pain is not responding to pain medications, lasts longer than 5 days, or is worsening instead of improving, contact us.

You should consume only liquids for the first 24 hours after the ablation. Liquids, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ensure, Boost, and Slim Fast are encouraged for balanced nutrition. It is recommended that you consume only soft foods for the first few days after your procedure, then a regular diet as your pain subsides. Avoid highly acidic foods, such as citrus, carbonated beverages, and spicy foods that may worsen the pain.

You may experience uncomfortable gas pain, due to the stomach having been inflated with air during the exam. This discomfort should pass with burping and with the passage of time.

Nausea may be caused by the presence of gas, effects of medication for sedation, or pain, and may last several hours. Should nausea persist into the next day or is you have significant vomiting, please contact us.

Localized irritation of the vein (phlebitis) may occur at the IV site. If you notice a red streak progressing from the IV site upward, antibiotics may be needed; contact us.

Forgetfulness is normal immediately after the procedure. This is due to the use of a sedative that causes temporary amnesia. If you have questions about your procedure that have not been addressed in your discharge papers, contact us.
If you experience fever, severe pain, difficulty breathing, signs of bleeding, or any other significant concerns, contact your physician immediately by calling 541-868-9500.

Since ablation is the controlled destruction of tissue, there are risks involved. The most common risks are pain, bleeding, side effects of medications given for the procedure, and infection (mostly at the IV site). Less common but more serious complications include stricture formation (narrowing of the esophagus), perforation (causing a hole in the esophagus), and aspiration (having liquid get into the airway). Strictures cause difficulty swallowing (food getting “hung up” in the chest area) and may not be apparent for weeks or months after the ablation. Perforations lead to severe chest pain and difficulty breathing. For information about RFA using instruments manufactured by Barrx, visit this website.

Note: The information in this section is provided as a supplement to information discussed with your healthcare provider. It is not intended to serve as a complete description of a particular topic or substitute for a clinic visit.