What Is Barrett’s Esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus is a common complication of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The esophagus becomes damaged by stomach acid and changes esophageal tissue to mimic the intestinal lining. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a critically important valve that may fail over time, leading to acid and chemical changes in the esophagus, causing GERD. GERD sometimes triggers changes in the lower esophagus lining cells leading to Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus can lead to cancer of the esophagus if left untreated. Our medical experts at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology provide diagnosis and treatment of Barrett’s esophagus in the Denver Metro and surrounding areas. We’ll help you find relief from the disease.
What Causes Barrett’s Esophagus?
Many factors may contribute to Barrett’s esophagus. The condition is most common in people with GERD. Barrett’s esophagus occurs when the acidic stomach contents flow backward into the esophagus. The acidic contents irritate the esophageal lining, often causing changes to the tissue.
Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett’s esophagus does not typically cause any signs or symptoms. The most important things to watch out for are heartburn and acid regurgitation. If heartburn occurs at least twice a week, you’re at a higher risk for GERD and Barrett’s esophagus. You may have Barrett’s esophagus if you have trouble swallowing food or chest pain.
How We Diagnose Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett’s esophagus is diagnosed with an upper endoscopy. We insert a small lighted tube into the esophagus to determine if there are any changes in the lining of the esophagus. We will take a small tissue sample and perform a biopsy to examine the tissue for Barrett’s esophagus.
Barrett’s Esophagus Treatment
The treatment for Barrett’s esophagus is based on the presence of any abnormal cells in your biopsy. If you have Barrett’s esophagus without dysplasia, you typically won’t need treatment at this early stage. We will continue to monitor the condition. If you have GERD, we will prescribe medication to help decrease stomach acid. If you have Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia, or precancerous cells, we will frequently monitor and help prevent the cancer cells from further developing. We often recommend removing the damaged tissue in high-grade dysplasia cases with substantial changes in the esophagus lining.
Choosing Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology
The experienced medical team at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology is committed to finding and treating your digestive issues with the highest quality techniques. Our cutting-edge technology ensures you have innovative treatments for your needs. We have multiple clinics, technologically advanced Endoscopy Centers, and a specialized pathology laboratory for your convenience and peace of mind. Our gastroenterology specialists will do their best to bring patients superior care for the most challenging digestive conditions.
Contact Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology
Our Mountain Gastroenterology physicians perform nearly 30,000 procedures yearly in our outpatient Endoscopy Centers. We coordinate patient care to ensure all your medical needs are met and you are comfortable in our office. We’re proud to be consistently ranked as one of the most cost-effective facilities in the area. We’re here to help you through your digestive issues. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.Go back