Barrett's Esophagus With GastroMed Connect

What is Barrett's esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus is an issue related to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This condition occurs when the regular tissue in the esophagus shifts to match the tissue that lines the intestines. Although the chance of cancer of the esophagus rises with patients who deal with Barrett’s esophagus, the chance of forming cancer from Barrett’s esophagus is less than 1%. If you or your loved one suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease, then please set up regular visits with a Kyle, TX digestive health provider to monitor your health and look for symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus. We can help you locate a local GI specialist at GastroMed Connect.

Who develops Barrett’s esophagus?

The main risk factor for Barrett’s esophagus is long-term overlooked acid reflux. GERD won’t necessarily develop into Barrett’s esophagus, but if one’s GERD is not managed, at some point they could likely get Barrett’s. Elevated risk factors include:

  • Being a man
  • Those with extra stomach fat
  • Those who are over age 50
  • Family history
  • Being a caucasian
  • Currently a smoker or previously a smoker

 

Our gastroenterologists provide experienced treatment for Barrett’s esophagus in Kyle, TX. If you think you might be at risk, please contact a GastroMed Connect location near you to request a consultation.

What are the symptoms of Barrett's esophagus?

There are no obvious signs associated with the cellular modifications of Barrett’s esophagus. A lot of times, individuals with this GI condition will not notice any indications or symptoms.

 

Among the symptoms connected with Barrett’s esophagus are:

  • Unyielding heartburn (acid reflux)
  • Swallowing trouble
  • Chest pain (not as common)

 

If you have been experiencing heartburn or other similar issues for prolonged periods, we encourage you to talk with your GastroMed Connect provider and be tested by your gastroenterologist. The only definite way to find out whether you have Barrett’s esophagus is to perform an upper GI endoscopy and take an exam of the cells in your esophagus.

What are the treatments for Barrett’s esophagus?

The treatment for Barrett’s esophagus is unique to other GI afflictions. The particular intervention you receive depends on the extent of atypical cell growth, referred to as dysplasia, in your esophageal lining.

The varying degrees of dysplasia (precancerous tissue development) and possible solutions include:

  • No dysplasia: Although no precancerous tissue is present, it is still important to arrange routine endoscopies by your doctor to detect modifications to the cells in the esophagus. Your gastroenterologist will also usually recommend care much like those who have GERD (like behavioral modifications or prescription drugs).
  • Mild-grade dysplasia: With a low level of atypical cell growth, you might need to have endoscopic mucosal resection or radiofrequency ablation for removal.
  • High-grade dysplasia: With a larger level of change in the esophageal tissue, freezing treatments, photodynamic treatments, or esophagectomy might be needed.