About Barrett’s Esophagus

A Tough Diagnosis to Swallow

When the cells in the lower esophagus are damaged, a physician may diagnose you with Barrett’s Esophagus. This condition is typically related to frequent exposure to the acid of the stomach and causes the composition and the color of the cells of the esophagus to change. In many cases, this condition shows up in individuals who suffer from gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). At miVIP Surgery Centers, our surgeons provide the most innovative options, such as our minimally invasive EGD procedure, to treat the condition.

One of the reasons that individuals and physicians are concerned with this condition is that it increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The risk is minimal, but the surgeons at miVIP Surgery Centers can stop it in its tracks.

Statistics

  • An estimated 1.6-6.8 percent of the population is diagnosed with the condition.
  • On average, individuals are diagnosed at age 55.
  • Men are twice as likely to be diagnosed as women.
  • This condition is not common in children.
  • Caucasians are more affected by this condition than any other race.

Causes

Medical professionals do not have an exact cause for Barrett’s Esophagus. In most cases, patients have previously experienced long-term GERD, which causes the stomach acid to get into the esophagus and create damage. When the esophagus works to heal itself, the esophagus cells begin to change. While this is a common cause, there are patients who do not experience GERD at all, and physicians maintain that the causes of these cases are unknown.

Symptoms

In some cases, symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus are non-existent. In such a case, individuals are typically diagnosed when a healthcare professional is looking at the esophagus for an unrelated reason. In other cases, some common symptoms include:

  • A dry cough
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Recurring heartburn
  • Unexplained chest pain
  • Trouble swallowing food

Treatment

The following are some common treatment options for this condition:

  • EGD Procedure – This procedure allows the physician to take a look at the esophagus to determine if the individual suffers from Barrett’s Esophagus. Through the EGD procedure, the surgeon can remove damaged cells and tissue.
  • KTP-523 Laser Treatment – This treatment allows the surgeon to specifically target the problem areas to get the proper tissues and cells removed.

Prognosis

Patients with this condition have an increased risk of esophageal cancer, although the cancer is rare. Depending on your situation, your physician may recommend that you receive regular endoscopies for the remainder of your life, to ensure that the condition has not resurfaced, or that the cancer has not appeared.

For more information, or to inquire about our minimally invasive EGD procedure, contact miVIP Surgery Centers today at 855-496-4847.

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