Dr. Sewell explains the value of TNE
Anyone who has persistent symptoms of acid reflux is at risk for developing a condition called Barrett's Esophagus. Chronic irritation of the esophagus by exposure to stomach contents can cause the sensitive tissues that line the esophagus to change, making them look more like the lining of the stomach. This is called Barrett's esophagus, and while these areas are usually benign, they carry a risk of becoming malignant. In the same way mammograms are used to screen patients for breast cancer, TNE can be used to screen patients who are at risk for Barrett's, and determine whether a formal EGD with biopsy under sedation is needed.
At North Texas Heartburn & Reflux Center screening for Barrett's Esophagus is accomplished using Transnasal Esophagoscopy or TNE. This procedure involves the use of a very small, flexible endoscope (5mm in diameter) to inspect the inside of the entire esophagus and upper stomach, and it is done right in our office. Unlike conventional endoscopy, there is no need for sedation or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia only is used to minimize any sensitivity or discomfort in the nose and throat. So, you can have the exam, which takes less than half an hour, and go right back to work or any other activity. Screening for Barrett's Esophagus in Southlake does not require that you have someone accompany you, since you’ll be able to drive yourself, and you’ll also be able to eat right away.
Before your TNE exam, we ask that you not eat or drink anything for four hours prior. Afterward there are really no restrictions, and you will have the results of the examination immediately.
TNE is the easiest and least expensive way to assess the health of the esophagus. It can often be done as part of your initial evaluation. If you are interested in learning more about TNE watch this YouTube video.