POSTED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 3:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 3:04am
KENNER, LA — Kenner is the first in Louisiana to provide truFreeze® spray cryotherapy for patients suffering from esophageal disease. This minimally invasive technology places a small catheter in a standard endoscope spraying extremely cold liquid nitrogen to vaporize targeted pre-cancerous tissue inside the esophagus.
“This technology provides another option for patients suffering from esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus who cannot have surgery,” said Virendra Joshi, MD, Gastroenterology, Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner. “By using spray cryotherapy, our patients have experienced improved quality of live without undergoing the risks associated with a major surgical operation or treatment with esophageal stents.”
How spray cryotherapy works
Spray cryotherapy is a simple outpatient procedure that typically takes 20-30 minutes to complete. During the procedure, a physician inserts a long tube with a small camera (an endoscope) through the mouth to enable viewing of the treatment site. The physician then threads a specialized spray cryotherapy catheter through the endoscope, selects the ablation area and sprays extremely cold (-196°C) liquid nitrogen on the diseased tissue to flash freeze and destroy it. The tissue is allowed to thaw and the process may then be repeated several times. This rapid freeze and slow thaw of tissue has been proven to destroy the targeted cells without disturbing the underlying connective tissue, providing a framework for healthy cells to regenerate. This technique is generally painless and performed as an outpatient surgery. Patients are typically able to return home the same day and quickly resume normal activity.
Cryotherapy, the use of extreme cold in medical applications, is a proven therapy that has been used for decades to treat diseased tissue on the skin and many parts of the body. The spray cryotherapy system being utilized at Ochsner Kenner is a novel and versatile ablation option because of its safety and tolerability for patients with esophageal cancer who cannot undergo standard treatments or have failed them. Its main applicability remains in palliation for esophageal cancers and ablating failed treatments of Barrett’s with RFA. In addition it has been used for control of bleeding from tumors of the esophagus which do not respond to standard treatments.
The truFreeze spray cryotherapy system is manufactured by CSA Medical, Inc. For more information about CSA Medical and spray cryotherapy, visit www.csamedical.com.