Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's is a change in the skin of the esophagus that occurs in about 1 out of 10 patients scoped for longstanding reflux. It actually makes the esophagus more resistant to acid damage. The downside is it also increases the risk for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus (a type of cancer) to about 30 times normal. Experts have looked at destroying the tissue with electricity, laser light and by freezing, but are still exploring if the benefit is worth the risk for the average Barrett's patient. Current recommendations, if Barrett's is found, include biopsies of the esophagus done every 2 to 3 years looking for trends towards cancer (dysplasia). Biopsy more frequently if dysplasia is found or possibly surgery.

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Digestive Health Tips From Our Staff

Heartburn: If you are experiencing heartburn, “do not discount the need for an upper GI endoscopy to rule out abnormal pathology.”

 

Dr. Powell states he chose to practice Gastroenterology, “to treat a wide scope of different problems and afflictions and using modern treatment to help these patients feel better.”