What Is WATS3D?
WATS3D is a specialized biopsy of the esophagus that allows a gastroenterologist to collect cells from a larger surface area. In the past, the collection of cells was done in a random manner from a limited area of the esophagus. This new biopsy method has been found to be more effective in ruling out the possibility of cancerous and pre-cancerous disease in the esophagus.
When Should WATS3D Be Performed?
WATS3D biopsy method is used in patents with established or suspected Barrett’s Esophagus to enhance the detection of precancerous or cancerous esophageal abnormalities.
How Is The Procedure Performed?
WATS3D is a fast and easy procedure that is completed during endoscopy by taking a more thorough sample of cells from the esophagus using a small brush. The cells are then examined by an advanced computer image that provides a view of the entire sample by combining over 100 optical slices into a 3D Image. The 3D view of the cell’s original structure provides crucial information to find abnormal cells earlier and with greater accuracy.
What Is The Risk Of Developing Esophageal Cancer?
Of those with GERD, 10-20% will develop Barrett’s Esophagus. Over time, a small percentage of Barrett’s cases will turn into esophageal cancer. However, this chance is still much greater than a patient without Barrett’s. Some estimate the rate of developing cancer is 50 times greater than those without Barrett’s. Esophageal cancer does not usually develop without progressing to dysplasia. Therefore, it’s very important to have WATS3D performed regularly to monitor the progression.
How Can Esophageal Cancer Be Prevented?
If diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, WATS3D can be performed regularly to monitor for progression of unhealthy cells. When pre-cancerous cells are present, they can be removed before they become advanced.