Barrett's esophagus is a condition that sometimes develops when gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) leads to cell changes in your esophagus. The board-certified physicians at Gotham Gastroenterology can diagnose and treat GERD and Barrett's esophagus, helping prevent the condition from becoming cancerous. At their locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, Gotham Gastroenterology uses endoscopic techniques to assess and treat Barrett’s esophagus. Call the office nearest you today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Barrett's esophagus is a condition affecting the connecting pipe between your throat and your stomach. It develops when some of the cells lining your esophagus change, mutating into precancerous cells. Without treatment, Barrett's esophagus can develop into esophageal cancer.
The condition typically develops when your esophagus suffers frequent exposure to stomach acid. This is most often due to having a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is a chronic disorder that develops when you suffer regular bouts of acid reflux (heartburn). The key symptom of GERD is a burning pain in your chest, but you might experience additional symptoms such as:
Sometimes the acid rises to your mouth. It has a distinctive, bitter taste and makes your throat burn. Frequent acid reflux into your mouth can lead to tooth erosion.
The occasional attack of acid reflux isn't too much of a problem. However, without the correct treatment, the chronic acid reflux of GERD causes changes in the cells of your esophagus that could lead to Barrett's esophagus.
Therefore, if you're experiencing frequent bouts of acid reflux, you should contact Gotham Gastroenterology and get their help in resolving the issue before you develop GERD or Barrett's esophagus.
Barrett's esophagus doesn't usually cause symptoms. In fact, because the mutated cells lining your esophagus aren't as sensitive to stomach acid, you might even think your GERD is improving.
If you have chronic acid reflux, you should see your provider at Gotham Gastroenterology regularly to check for Barrett's esophagus. If you have GERD or Barrett's esophagus and are having trouble swallowing (dysphagia), you should contact your gastroenterologist straight away, as it could be a sign of esophageal cancer.
Your gastroenterologist can determine whether you have Barrett's esophagus by performing an upper GI endoscopy and taking tissue samples from your esophagus for analysis.
If you get a diagnosis at an early stage, your provider at Gotham Gastroenterology can prescribe proton pump inhibitors to reduce the quantity of acid your stomach is producing, which can help prevent Barrett's esophagus from getting worse.
If your Barrett's esophagus is more advanced, your provider might recommend endoscopic radiofrequency ablation to remove the lining of your esophagus.
The focus of treatment is on preventing the precancerous cells of Barrett's esophagus from changing into cancer cells. You should undergo regular screening endoscopies if you have Barrett's esophagus to ensure the earliest detection of cancer cells.
For more information about Barrett's esophagus or to schedule a consultation, call Gotham Gastroenterology today or book an appointment online.