KTP laser ablation of Barrett's esophagus after anti-reflux surgery results in long-term loss of intestinal metaplasia

S. P. Bowers, S. G. Mattear, P. J. Waring, K. Galloway, A. Nasir, R. Pascal, J. G. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Efforts to ablate Barrett's epithelium have met with mixed results. We report the long-term follow-up evaluation of the preliminary cohort of patients who underwent thermal ablation of Barrett's epithelium with the potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser after anti-reflux surgery. Methods: Nine patients with intestinal metaplasia (IM) of the esophagus underwent fundoplication (7 laparoscopic Nissen, 1 laparoscopic Toupet, 1 open Nissen) between May 1993 and October 1994. Three patients had an IM less than 3 cm long (33%). One year after the operation, all the patients were symptom free, had discontinued medications, and had a normal 24-h pH study. From June 1995 to February 1996, these patients underwent a median of two (range, 1-5) endoscopic procedures with directed mucosal ablation using the KTP laser. A comparative cohort of 21 patients (IM length, < 3cm; 38%) treated during the same period with fundoplication alone served as a control. The patients were followed prospectively with annual or biennial endoscopy and biopsy. All the patients were contacted by mail, telephone, or clinic visit annually to determine symptomatic and quality-of-life outcome of antireflux surgery. Results: The mean follow-up period was 6.8 years (range, 6-7.5 years). At this writing, the study patients are alive and well. Eight of the patients have experienced histologic loss of IM (89%) according to their last biopsy result. One patient has had regression of low-grade dysplasia to IM. The patients treated with fundoplication alone had a mean follow-up period of 5.6 years (range, 4.7-7.2 years). On the basis of the last biopsy result, 7 of 21 patients (33%) had no evidence of IM. Conclusions: A program of tailored antireflux surgery followed by thermal mucosal ablation causes a loss of IM in a majority of patients with Barrett's esophagus. This may represent a significant improvement in histologic outcome over that of treatment with fundoplication alone (p = 0.007 Fisher's exact test).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Ablation
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Esophagus
  • Fundoplication
  • Intestinal metaplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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