Barrett’s Esophagus

What is Barrett’s Esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the cells of the lower esophagus change to become more like the cells that line the stomach.

Causes of Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is felt to be caused by repeated exposure to stomach contents including acid. Barrett’s esophagus is most often diagnosed in people who have long-term acid reflux disease. Only a small percentage of people with acid reflux will develop Barrett’s esophagus.

Complications from Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer. Although the risk of developing esophageal cancer is small, monitoring of Barrett’s esophagus is recommended and involves periodic upper endoscopy (typically every 3 years).

Treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus

Once Barrett’s esophagus is diagnosed, typically an acid-reducing medication is prescribed for long-term use.  If signs of precancerous cells are discovered (known as dysplasia), various treatments can be offered that destroy the precancerous cells. If advanced dysplasia is discovered, often surgery is recommended.

Learn More About Barrett’s Esophagus »

The board-certified physicians at San Francisco Gastroenterology are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the digestive tract, including Barrett’s Esophagus. Our doctors serve from Marin County, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Our goal is simply to provide the highest quality medical care and patient service possible.

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