Recovery and instructions after treatment

HALO radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

After treatment, you should rest and avoid strenuous activity for a few days. 


For the first 24 hours after sedation, don't

  • do not drive any vehicle or ride a bicycle
  • do not operate machinery or do anything requiring skill or judgement
  • do not drink alcohol
  • do not take sleeping tablets
  • do not go to work
  • do not make any important decisions, sign contracts or legal documents

Diet instructions

  • Do not have hot drinks for the first 24 hours.
  • Have a soft or sloppy diet for 2 days (such as smooth soups, yoghurt, porridge, scrambled eggs). Avoid high temperature food and drinks.
  • After 2 days you can try a normal diet, but avoid meat and dry foods such as toast, biscuits and crackers for another 2 to 4 days.

Medicines instructions

For 7 days, do not take:

  • aspirin
  • any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, Nurofen®, Voltarol, diclofenac or naproxen

If you need care for a digestive issue from any healthcare professional other than at St Thomas’ Hospital in the 6 months after your RFA, please contact our upper GI gastroenterology medical team before any treatment is started.

Acid-suppression medicine

Take the acid-suppression medicine (omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole or esomeprazole) as prescribed and continue for at least 2 months.

Take 2 times a day, at least 30 minutes before breakfast and your evening meal.

Tell us immediately if you are not taking one of these drugs.

The details are on your copy of the report.

It might help to take an antacid (such as Maalox® or liquid Gaviscon Advance), but avoid taking within 30 minutes of your acid–suppression medicine. These can be bought at any pharmacy and some supermarkets.

Regular medicines

Check with the endoscopist about instructions for anti-platelet or anticoagulant medicines before you leave the hospital.

You can take your normal prescription drugs, but take plenty of water when swallowing tablets.


It is normal to have the following side effects for 7 to 10 days: 

  • mild chest discomfort or tummy discomfort if the procedure was for gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE)
  • tightness or a burning sensation in the chest (or tummy if the procedure was for GAVE)
  • mild discomfort with eating, particularly hot or solid foods

These sensations can remain for 4 weeks but will get better on their own. It will help if you chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. 

You can use soluble paracetamol or co-codamol as needed and an anti-sickness tablet if you feel sick. These can be bought from any pharmacy. 

If you have any bloating or abdominal discomfort this might be from the air that was put in by the endoscopist during the procedure. This is normal and should settle within 24 hours. Peppermint tea can help get rid of this trapped air.

Call 999 or go to your nearest emergency department (A&E) if: 

you experience any of the following

  • significant chest pain
  • being sick (vomiting)
  • excessive difficulty swallowing
  • a temperature higher than 37.7C/100F or you feel hot or shivery
  • passing large amounts of blood
  • difficulty breathing
  • tummy (abdomen) pain that does not respond to drinking peppermint water or tea (not hot), or the painkillers recommended

Take your endoscopy report with you.

Follow-up appointment

You might already have a follow-up outpatient appointment booked. If not, you we will arrange one for you.

You might also be rebooked for a follow-up endoscopy to check the site of the ablation for healing.

The upper GI clinical nurse specialist (CNS) will contact you 24 to 48 hours after you procedure to check on your symptoms and recovery.

The endoscopy department cannot give you any biopsy results.

If you had biopsies taken and have not received your results after 4 weeks check your report on which department to contact:

Useful information

The British Society of Gastroenterology

Guts UK is a charity about diseases of the gut, liver and pancreas.

Resource number: 5147/VER2
Last reviewed: March 2023
Next review: March 2026

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Is this health information page useful?