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Barrett's esophagus can result from ongoing heartburn, which allows a constant splashing of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Left untreated, the condition can progress to esophagus cancer. Now, a new method, called cryoablation therapy, is available to freeze damaged cells in the esophagus, preventing them from turning cancerous.
Gastroenterologists at the University of Southwestern Medical Center, and a few other sites around the country, are using a special catheter and liquid nitrogen to freeze the damaged tissue in the superficial lining of the esophagus. The treated tissue eventually falls off, allowing normal cells to grow and replace the damaged cells in about six to eight weeks. This is the same technology that has been in place and used by dermatologists for years to treat skin irregularities.
Using this method of treatment for Barrett's has recently been approved by the FDA. Prior to this approval, typical treatment for Barrett's may have included scra...
A recent study in the Annals of Surgery has shown that it may be bile not stomach acid that contributes to the formation of esophageal cancer. In the study it was shown that bile caused specific changes to the lining of the esophagus that could potentially turn off normal esophageal cell growth and turn on the intestinal cell growth that is the hallmark of Barrett's esophagus. Researchers further theorize that the bile activates stem cells in the esophagus to act like intestinal cells, where bile is normally found.
If these theories prove correct it would mean changes in how we currently prevent Barrett's esophagus or esophageal cancers. The current thinking relies on treating with proton pump inhibitors (PPI‘s) to reduce the acid made in the stomach. However, if bile is the trigger for the cancerous changes not acid, PPI's may not prevent it. In these instances the best way to treat the issue would be surgical correction of the LES or "anti-reflux surgery".
Definition An anal fissure is a small split or tear in the thin moist tissue ( mucosa ) lining the lower rectum (anus). Causes, incidence, and risk factors Anal fissures are extremely common in young infants but may occur at any age. Studies suggest 80% of infants will have had an anal fissure by the end of the first year. The rate of anal fissures decreases rapidly with age. Fissures are much less common among school-aged children than infants. In adults, fissures may be caused by constipation , the passing of large, hard stools, or by prolonged diarrhea. In older adults, anal fissures may be caused by decreased blood flow to the area. Anal fissures are also common in women after childbirth and persons with Crohn's disease .
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