For 3.3 million Americans, acid reflux has led to a dangerous condition called Barrett's esophagus.
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Melissa: If someone breaks it, there is a good chance John Davis can fix it. John Davis: I sort of thing to get much lifeful. Melissa: The former Royal Australian Air Force Wind Commanders spent 29 years working on planes, a high stress job. John Davis: And it just would last, just a terrible find. Melissa: His stomach pain came from a long battle with heartburn and acid reflux disease. The stomach acid causes cells the line the esophagus to change. It’s called Barrett’s Esophagus and it put John at a 40% higher risk of developing cancer. John Davis: It really get scared, I wish it’s over. Melissa: Doctors turn to radio frequency treatment to burn off the pre-cancerous cells. John Carroll: Essentially use and thermal energy to go ahead and damage the tissue into the shortest cells. Melissa: An endoscope with the tiny balloon or pro but the tip goes into the esophagus and delivers radio frequency energy through heat coils destroying the thin layer of tissue where the problem cells live. John Carroll: It burns off a very super facial layer but it doesn’t go deeper, and then esophagus like any part of the body heals will remarkably quickly. Melissa: In traditional surgery doctors remove a portion of the esophagus and reconnected to the stomach, it keeps patients in the hospital for three weeks and eating can be a challenge. The new radio frequency treatment is an out patient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. People can eat the next day. John Davis: Like a wide would come up your shoulders, thinking with one point that you are going to get through this major surgery. Melissa: A handyman who is grateful doctors find the way to fix him up without surgery. I’m Melissa reporting.