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Barrett’s Esophagus is a serious medical condition which the expert medical team at Minimally Invasive and Bariatrics Surgery has years of experience treating. We are the leaders and innovators and are always seeking progressive treatment options for our patients to ensure they receive the best possible results and the highest quality of care.
What is Barret’s Esophagus?
Barrett’s Esophagus is a rare, serious condition where esophageal tissue is eroded and morphs into intestinal tissue. This puts the individual at risk for cancer, dysplasia, and other serious medical conditions.
What Causes Barret’s Esophagus?
Barrett’s Esophagus is the result of long-standing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux. The body’s own defense mechanisms are to blame for Barrett’s Esophagus. When stomach acid corrodes the esophageal lining, stem cells attempt to protect the esophagus by turning themselves into intestinal cells which tolerate acid. This requires genetic changes. The accumulation of these genetically changed cells leads to this disease over time.
Who May Have Barret’s Esophagus?
Statistically, this disease is most common for individuals over fifty years of age who have been suffering from heartburn for a sustained amount of time. Further risk factors for Barrett’s Disease include smoking, family history of esophageal cancer, gender—men are more likely to develop Barrett’s—and race—Caucasians have a higher risk.
What are the symptoms of Barret’s Esophagus?
There are a variety of ways in which the symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus may manifest themselves. The most common of these are severe chest pain, extreme heartburn, difficulty swallowing food, and pain in the upper abdomen. These are all a result of the stomach acid changing the cellular DNA within your esophagus.
How is Barret’s Esophagus Diagnosed?
The only way to ensure full and correct diagnosis for Barret’s Esophagus is for the patient to undergo an endoscopic examination.
How is Barret’s Esophagus Treated?
In most cases, Barrett’s Esophagus is treated through non-surgical endoscopic methods. In many occasions, an anti-reflux operation, such as a Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, is performed to correct the ongoing acid reflux. In cases with dysplasia, there is a significant risk of developing cancer. A radiofrequency ablation is needed to burn away the dangerous cells.
Can Treatment Reduce Risk for Cancer?
Yes! There is a significantly reduced risk for esophageal cancer after undergoing successful treatment.