What is WATS 3D Biopsy?

WATS 3D is a computer assisted biopsy of the esophagus, which allows for a wider and deeper collection area of cells. This method has been found to greatly increase the detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous cells in the esophagus, such as with Barrett’s esophagus. Our doctors use this method to collect the cells, and then the cells are analyzed by the WATS 3D computer. This computer is able to see the whole sample by combining over 100 slices and then forming one single 3D image. This 3D view of the cell’s original structure allows the doctor to rule out the presence of unhealthy cells sooner and more accurately. The images of the cells are then reviewed by a specially trained pathologist, and then if there are any abnormal findings, the doctor will be notified. Blair Gastroenterology Associates specializes in endoscopic procedures and would be happy to accommodate your need for this type of testing. Please be sure to contact our office or speak to your primary care doctor today about referring you to one of our specialists.

Additional Advantages of the WATS 3D Biopsy Procedure Provided by Blair Gastro

With standard biopsies, the cells are cut into thin layers and then read under a microscope. Because the cells are cut and no longer intact, important diagnostic information can be missed. That’s why the WATS 3D method has been found to be over 40% more accurate in the detection of dangerous cells. WATS 3D is also very effective for follow up procedures even after Barrett’s esophagus has been detected and diagnosed, to assure the cancerous or pre-cancerous cells in your esophagus are gone and are not coming back. The WATS 3D procedure only adds about 5 extra minutes to an endoscopy, so the procedure time is not greatly affected. Once the lab receives the cell samples from the biopsy, your doctor should have the results in about 7-10 days. While any medical procedure can pose some risks, this method has been found to be safe and effective in clinical trials. So far over 50,000 WATS 3D tests have been performed in the esophagus by gastroenterologists and thoracic surgeons.