People who have had a long term acid reflux, which is a regurgitation of acid at the lower part of the food pipe from the stomach are often diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. However, only a small proportion of those who suffer from acid reflux will develop it. If you are suffering from Barrett’s esophagus, you have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Although the risk is normally small, it is advisable to get regular checks for dysplasia which is precancerous cells.
If they are discovered, treatment can be offered to prevent the development of esophageal cancer. The changes that occur due to Barrett’s esophagus normally do not present any symptoms, what is experience is due to acid reflux where common complaints are difficulties in swallowing of food, chest pain although they are less common and increased the frequency of heartburns.
We will carry out a physical examination and a get a thorough history of the signs and symptoms as well as to conduct some diagnostic tests to ascertain the cause and best treatment option for the condition. Depending on the severity of the condition, we will recommend lifestyle modification as well as medications that can help relieve the problem within a relatively short period. If this does not resolve the problem we will recommend stronger medication and in some cases surgical procedures.