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  • Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

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    Old 09-05-2008, 07:20 PM   #1
    paradiddle
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    Question Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    My wife had Radiofrequency Ablation to treat her Barrett's Esophagus. She is 39 years old and her father died of esophogeal cancer in his 40's. That is one reason why the doctors chose to go with this treatment because of family history.

    Now the insurance company told us that they consider this treatment "experimental" and would not pay for it. So we ended up paying out of pocket. They gave us a big sheet of paper describing why etc.

    Has anyone out there had similar problem with the insurance company?

    She is doing fine and will be re-examined in a couple of weeks. Taking 2X dose of Aciphex as prescribed aslo.

    Last edited by paradiddle; 09-07-2008 at 12:18 PM.

     
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    Old 09-07-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
    beachcomber3
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Hello. I have also had Radiofrequency Ablation for Barrett's Esophagus. Did a stricture form in your wife's esophagus as a result of RFA?




    E=paradiddle;3717909]My wife had Radiofrequency Ablation to treat her Barrett's Esophagus. She is 39 years old and her father died of esophogeal cancer in his 40's. That is one reason why the doctors chose to go with this treatment because of family history.

    Now the insurance company told us that they consider this treatment "experimental" and would not pay for it. So we ended up paying out of pocket. They gave us a big sheet of paper describing why etc.

    Has anyone out there had similar problem ?

    She is doing fine and will be re-examined in a couple of weeks. Taking 2X dose of Aciphex as prescribed aslo.[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paradiddle View Post
    My wife had Radiofrequency Ablation to treat her Barrett's Esophagus. She is 39 years old and her father died of esophogeal cancer in his 40's. That is one reason why the doctors chose to go with this treatment because of family history.

    Now the insurance company told us that they consider this treatment "experimental" and would not pay for it. So we ended up paying out of pocket. They gave us a big sheet of paper describing why etc.

    Has anyone out there had similar problem with the insurance company?

    She is doing fine and will be re-examined in a couple of weeks. Taking 2X dose of Aciphex as prescribed aslo.
    I also had RFA for Barrett's. Did a stricture form in your wife's esophagus? Is her ability to eat hampered?

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #4
    paradiddle
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    No Stricture - she is fine. At first after operation, eating was a problem but not now.

    Did your insurance pay for the whole operation ?

    Last edited by paradiddle; 09-07-2008 at 12:21 PM.

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    I underwent RFA last March for a very small (less than 1 cm) spot of Barrett's and have suffered from a stricture since. I have to have 4 dilations (strecting open of the stricture by Indoscopy) and facing a 5th time later this month. As for insurance: My insurance paid all by a very small co-pay. Where did your wife go for the procedure?

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:27 PM   #6
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    I meant to write I have had 4 dilations....

    I happy your wife is doing well. Please tell me more.

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:31 PM   #7
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    I learned shortly after undergoing the procedure that it is considered experimental...even though approved in 2004 by the FDA. Had I known what I know now I seriously doubt I would have had it done.

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:32 PM   #8
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Sorry, I'm not very good at typing

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #9
    paradiddle
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beachcomber3 View Post
    I underwent RFA last March for a very small (less than 1 cm) spot of Barrett's and have suffered from a stricture since. I have to have 4 dilations (strecting open of the stricture by Indoscopy) and facing a 5th time later this month. As for insurance: My insurance paid all by a very small co-pay. Where did your wife go for the procedure?
    She went to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. I think she had more than you. Doc mentioned that he had to do 2 burns to get the whole length. She will be going back for follow up next week. The Doc did mention at 1st op that he will go for another look and "clean up" any spots that remain.

    Which insurance did you have ?

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:42 PM   #10
    paradiddle
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Our doc did not do RF so we were referred to another that did. Our doc was extremely concerned with what he saw and the family history and thought we needed to get ahead of this rather than do a wait and see.

    Hope you have success in your treatments.

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 12:51 PM   #11
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Are you still there? I'd like to discuss some of the more serious aspects that can/may result due to Radiofrequency Ablation of Barrett's Esophagus.

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 01:03 PM   #12
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    I had my procedure done at Uni. of Calif. at Irvine, by Dr. Kenneth Chang, he is one of the inventors of the RFA instrument used for ablation of Barrett's. He burned me twice in a single endoscopic procedure. He also burned the valve. All of the information I was given prior to the procedure stated (as did Dr. Chang) that they simply go in and "zap" the cells and most people return to work the next day. I have since found that isn't so. I ended up not being able to eat or drink even water. I spent 2 days plus another 5 days in the hospital. No one every told me a stricture would form a few weeks following the procedure. It did, and I have suffered greatly. I've since found that the formation of a stricture following RFA is quite common, serious, and can be deadly. Furthermore, I've since learned that with RFA there is a good chance of the Barrett's cells becoming imbedded in the deeper esophageal tissue making it difficult to later find and treat.

    As for insurance: my insurance paid all by a $50 co-pay. Which insurance company is denying payment?

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 01:13 PM   #13
    beachcomber3
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    The Mayo Clinic in AZ has a GI section that specializes in RFA. I would suggest to anyone considering such treatment for Barrett's they go there. I though UC Irvine was the best...I think otherwise now.

    Incidentally, RFA for Barrett's Esophagus leaves 2nd and 3rd degree burns. The pictures are pretty horrible.

    This message board stuff is new to me. I'm not sure how to post messages or read replies...sort of stumbling along.

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 02:21 PM   #14
    paradiddle
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    My wife has had no issues at all except a few days after she had suffered some pain and nausea but that has been pretty much it. She can eat and drink with no problems. The physician that performed the RF is well known and often referred to patients here in Florida to go to. My wife feels terrible for you. Thanks for your info on the insurance. Our carrier still considers RF experimental and will not cover it. Best of luck to you!

     
    Old 09-07-2008, 03:58 PM   #15
    beachcomber3
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    Re: Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance

    Is your ins. by chance United Healthcare?

     
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