Barrett’s esophagus treatment in Hyderabad | Dr. Datta Ram U
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition characterized by the alteration of the cells that line the food tube (esophagus). While it is more prevalent among individuals suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it can also develop in those without GERD. The management of this condition can range from regular monitoring of the esophageal lining using endoscopies to medical procedures aimed at eliminating damaged tissue. It is important to maintain a healthy esophagus by taking steps to manage heartburn or acid reflux.
What causes Barrett’s esophagus
It’s unclear why cells in the esophagus lining occasionally transform into cells resembling those in the intestine. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be linked to the development of Barrett’s esophagus, according to researchers. This condition increases the likelihood of developing an uncommon form of esophageal cancer.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a crucial valve situated between the esophagus and the stomach. Its failure over time can result in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes acid and chemical harm to the esophagus. Symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn or regurgitation, often accompany the disease. In some cases, GERD can trigger a change in the cells of the lower esophagus, leading to Barrett’s esophagus.
What are the signs and symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus is usually associated with chronic GERD. However, it’s interesting to note that around 50% of individuals who have Barrett’s esophagus don’t experience noticeable symptoms of acid reflux. Therefore, it’s advisable to talk to your gastroenterologist about your digestive health and the likelihood of having Barrett’s esophagus.
The signs and symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus may include:
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Chest pain (less common)
- Frequent heartburn
- Regurgitation of stomach contents
Are you at Risk of Barrett’s Esophagus?
You could be at risk of Barrett’s esophagus if you are obese, have GERD disease and have symptoms of heartburn for more than 10 years. The condition is common in males – especially in middle-aged males and those with a family history of Barrett’s esophagus.
How will you know you have Barrett’s esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus does not show any symptoms by itself, and individuals may only become aware of its presence after seeking medical attention for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms or upon being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Due to the absence of noticeable symptoms, it is uncertain how prevalent Barrett’s esophagus is, but specialists approximate that it affects roughly 1% of the population.
Learn more about GERD (insert GERD link here)
Diagnosis of Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett’s esophagus can only be diagnosed through a procedure known as upper endoscopy. Gastroenterologists insert a small tube with a light through the throat to the esophagus in order to inspect the esophageal lining for any changes. Although the appearance of the esophagus might indicate the possibility of Barrett’s esophagus, the only way to confirm it is by taking small tissue samples (biopsies) during the endoscopy. The pathologist will analyze the samples to confirm the diagnosis.
Barrett’s Esophagus Treatment in Hyderabad
If you have mild symptoms with no detection of abnormal growth, then your doctor will monitor your condition. You don’t need any treatment at this stage. However, your gastroenterologist may repeat upper endoscopy annually. To treat and manage GERD symptoms, your doctor will prescribe medicines to decrease stomach acid and protect your esophagus against damage. Your doctor will also suggest lifestyle changes – such as sleeping slightly inclined, having meals on time, avoiding having dinner late and so on.
To treat low-grade to high-grade dysplasia with GERD symptoms, your doctor may recommend ablation therapy and radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy, endoscopic mucosal resection for the treatment of high-grade dysplasia. For the more severe cases, your surgical gastroenterologist will perform esophagectomy surgery to remove a part of the affected esophagus.
For the best Barrett’s esophagus treatment and GERD care in Hyderabad, meet Dr. Datta Ram U at KIMS Hospitals, Gachibowli, Hyderabad.