Barrett’s esophagus doesn’t cause symptoms, but you’re at risk for the condition if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Abel Bello, MD, and the doctors at MIB Surgery in Plantation, Florida, provide state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, develop customized treatment plans, and have years of experience performing minimally invasive surgery when needed to treat Barrett’s esophagus. If you have ongoing heartburn or acid reflux, call or schedule an appointment online.
Barrett's Esophagus Q & A
What is Barrett’s Esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus develops when the tissues lining your esophagus change, with normal cellular structure transforming into different, abnormal cells.
These changes can progress, turning precancerous and then developing into cancer. While 95% of patients with Barrett’s esophagus don’t develop esophageal cancer, your risk is higher compared to people who don’t have the condition.
Barrett’s esophagus is associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). About 5-15% of patients with GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus, as stomach acid causes inflammation and cellular changes in the esophageal lining.
What symptoms develop due to Barrett’s Esophagus?
The cellular changes of Barrett’s esophagus don’t cause symptoms. If you have GERD, you’ll experience symptoms like:
- Chronic dry cough
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
If you have GERD and you’re not under medical care, it’s time to consider scheduling an appointment at MIB Surgery. They can evaluate your symptoms and perform an endoscopy if needed to examine the tissues in your esophagus and determine if you have Barrett’s esophagus.
During your endoscopy, a tissue sample is removed and sent to a lab for evaluation. At the lab, a pathologist examines the cells under a microscope to see if precancerous changes are present.
How is Barrett’s Esophagus treated?
Your treatment depends on the extent of abnormal cell growth in your esophagus. You may need regular monitoring to catch precancerous changes at an early stage. Otherwise, your doctor at MIB Surgery recommends the best treatment based on the severity of your symptoms.
If you have GERD, you may need medications and lifestyle changes to keep it controlled and prevent progressive cellular changes. You may need anti-reflux surgery if conservative treatments don’t help.
When your Barrett’s esophagus is severe, or your biopsy shows precancerous changes, you’ll need to undergo a procedure to remove the damaged cells, such as:
- Endoscopic resection
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Photodynamic therapy
If you have high-grade dysplasia, which is the final cellular change before developing full-blown esophageal cancer, you’ll have surgery to remove the damaged part of the esophagus.
If you suffer from chronic heartburn, protect your health with an evaluation for Barrett’s esophagus — call MIB Surgery to schedule an appointment today.