Barrett’s esophagus is a gastrointestinal condition characterized by a change in the tissue that normally lines the esophagus. It affects up to 6% of people in the United States and is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. The experienced gastroenterologists at Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida, Nehme Gabriel, MD, and Raj Borade, MD, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. To schedule a consultation, call the office in The Villages, Leesburg, or Brownwood Paddock Square in Wildwood, Florida, or book online today.
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that causes the lining of your esophagus to change, becoming more like the tissue that lines your small intestine. Doctors call this intestinal metaplasia and it most often occurs in the lower portion of your esophagus near your stomach.
It’s believed that chronic inflammation in this area of your esophagus causes the tissue to change. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common precursor to Barrett’s esophagus.
GERD is a chronic condition in which the acidic contents of your stomach reflux up into your esophagus, damaging the delicate tissue.
Barrett’s esophagus may increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer.
You may not experience any specific symptoms with Barrett’s esophagus. However, many people with Barrett’s esophagus have GERD related symptoms, such as:
If you have these symptoms or have GERD, you should be evaluated for Barrett’s esophagus at Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida.
The American College of Gastroenterology recommends anyone with uncontrolled GERD should be screened for Barrett’s esophagus.
At Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida, the doctors perform an endoscopy to diagnose Barrett’s esophagus.
An endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses an endoscope (thin flexible tube with a light and camera) to evaluate the lining of your esophagus. During the procedure, your gastroenterologist can see if there are changes to the structure of your esophageal tissue.
To confirm Barrett’s esophagus, they take a biopsy of the abnormal tissue. In addition to confirming a diagnosis, your esophageal tissue biopsy also looks for precancerous and cancerous cells.
Your doctor creates an individualized treatment plan for the management of Barrett’s esophagus based on the severity of esophageal tissue change, your symptoms, and overall health.
If you don’t have any precancerous or cancerous cells, they recommend ongoing endoscopy screening to monitor your esophageal tissue and treatments to manage GERD.
If you have precancerous or cancerous tissue, your doctor uses HALO ablation technology to treat Barrett’s esophagus. During the endoscopic procedure, they use radiofrequency energy to remove the damaged tissue.
GERD is a common gastrointestinal condition and a risk factor for Barrett’s esophagus. To schedule your Barrett’s esophagus consultation, call Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida, or request an appointment online today.