Though not common, Barrett’s esophagus is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. If you have chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you may be at risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus. Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology specializes in diagnosing and treating Barrett’s esophagus. To schedule a consultation, call the office in Carmel, New York, or click the online booking button today.
With Barrett’s esophagus, the tissue that lines your esophagus becomes more like the tissue that lines the small intestine. The health professionals at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology call this type of tissue change intestinal metaplasia.
The tissue change occurs in the area where your esophagus meets your stomach. Doctors theorize that Barrett’s esophagus develops because of chronic inflammation of the tissue from GERD.
Though rare, some people with Barrett’s esophagus have precancerous tissue — dysplasia — that may turn into esophageal cancer.
Barrett’s esophagus itself may not cause symptoms. However, people with the condition have GERD, which causes symptoms such as:
You may be at a greater risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus if you have GERD for a long time or the condition started when you were a child. The severity and frequency of your GERD symptoms don’t affect your risk.
At Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology, the health professionals may recommend routine screening for Barrett’s esophagus if you have GERD.
Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology diagnoses Barrett’s esophagus after performing an upper endoscopy and biopsy.
During the procedure, your gastroenterologist inserts an endoscope in your mouth and advances it to your lower esophagus. The endoscope is a flexible tube that has a light and camera that allows your provider to examine your esophageal tissue.
Once the endoscope reaches the bottom portion of your esophagus, they take a biopsy of the tissue and send it to the lab for testing to confirm or rule out Barrett’s esophagus.
Treatment for Barrett’s esophagus depends on the results of your endoscopy and biopsy and your overall health.
If you don’t have any precancerous cells, your provider may recommend routine endoscopies and biopsies to monitor the tissue. They also provide medical care and monitoring for your GERD.
You may need more invasive treatment if you have precancerous cells, such as endoscopic ablative therapy to destroy the tissue or surgery to remove it.
Call Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology, or schedule an appointment online today.