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Medical Director of Advanced Endoscopy Center Hosts Free Barrett’s Esophagus/Heartburn Program

New Lenox, IL (Oct. 4, 2013)—It was time for Leroy Potempa to have his routine colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy.  The 67 year-old Minooka resident has lived with ulcerative colitis for years, so it wasn’t unusual when his gastroenterologist sent Potempa to Silver Cross Hospital for testing.  It was during the outpatient procedure that Dr. Jeffrey Port noticed the tissue inside the lower section of Potempa’s esophagus—the swallowing tube that carries foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach, was a different color.  He performed a biopsy which confirmed Potempa had early stage cancer in the nodule and Barrett's esophagus around the nodule.  Barrett’s esophagus is a pre-cancerous condition affecting the lining of the esophagus.  

Barrett’s esophagus is estimated to affect between 1.6 and 5.6% of people in the United States.  Individuals with Barrett’s esophagus have a 40 to 130 times higher incidence of developing esophageal cancer than those without the condition. Esophageal is presently the fastest growing form of cancer. 

Outpatient Treatment Available at Silver Cross Hospital

Typically, patients with early stage cancer and Barrett’s esophagus require a risky operation called esophagectomy to remove all or part of the esophagus. Fortunately for Potempa, Dr. Port called upon his colleague, Dr. Kamran Ayub, who has special training to treat the condition in an outpatient setting.  Dr. Ayub performed endoscopic mucosal resection to remove the cancerous tissues followed by Barrx ablation to treat the Barrett's esophagus.  Dr. Ayub, Dr. Port and their associates with Southwest Gastroenterology have been treating gastrointestinal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus using the latest outpatient endoscopic techniques at Silver Cross Hospital for several years.  As a matter of record, Dr. Ayub has performed over 600 Barrx procedures.

“Barrx ablation technology is a very specific type of ablation, in which thermal (heat) energy is delivered in a precise and highly controlled manner to remove the diseased tissue without damage to the normal underlying structures,” said Dr. Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross Hospital, located at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. 

Clinical studies have demonstrated the Barrett’s tissue can be completely eliminated with Barrx ablation technology in 98.4% of patients. 

“Ablation therapy is performed in conjunction with upper endoscopy.  Patients are treated in an outpatient setting and no incisions are involved,” said Dr. Ayub.  

“Dr. Ayub was great,” said Potempa.  “He explained everything to me every step of the way.  “After the procedure, I felt no pain and had no side effects.  I just need to come back for a biopsy a few times a year for the next three years to make sure the Barrett’s has not returned. I know what I have to do and when I have to do it.” 

Barrett’s Esophagus Common in Heartburn/GERD Suffers

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder in which stomach acid and enzymes cause injury to the esophageal lining, producing symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation and chest pain. In some patients with GERD, the normal esophagus cells are damaged. Over time, this damage can result in inflammation and genetic changes that cause the cells to become altered. The tissue takes on a different appearance and microscopically is no longer esophageal tissue, but rather becomes intestinal tissue. This is called “intestinal metaplasia” or Barrett’s esophagus. 

“If a patient has GERD symptoms more than three times per week, they should consult their physician,” says Dr. Ayub. 

Free Educational Program Oct. 16

Learn how heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can lead to Barrett’s esophagus Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.   Dr. Kamran Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross, will discuss GERD, a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, or food pipe, causing serious irritation and heartburn.  GERD can lead to a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.  Learn about the causes and symptoms of GERD and the specialty treatment options offered.  Register to attend this free program—Is it Only Heartburn?, at or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). 

About Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 9 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.