Barrett Esophagus

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Barrett esophagus is a condition in which the cells that line your esophagus are damaged. The damage can cause abnormal changes in the cells. These abnormal changes increase your risk of esophageal cancer.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Your esophagus, stomach, blood vessels, or nerves may be injured during surgery. You may have trouble breathing, an infection, or bleeding after surgery. You may also feel bloated after meals or have scars that can narrow the esophagus after treatment with surgery or other procedures. Even with treatment, abnormal cells may grow again and cause further problems. If left untreated, you may develop esophageal cancer. The cancer can spread to other parts of your body. Once cancer spreads, it becomes more difficult to treat and other serious medical problems can develop.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

  • Anti-reflux medicines help decrease the stomach acid that can irritate your esophagus and stomach. These medicines may include proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and histamine type-2 receptor (H2) blockers.

Tests:

  • Blood and stool may be collected and sent to a lab for tests.

  • An endoscopy is a procedure in which a scope is used to see the inside of your esophagus and stomach. A scope is a long, bendable tube with a light on the end of it. A camera may be hooked to the scope. A biopsy may also be done. A biopsy is when your caregiver takes tissue samples from your esophagus and sends it to a lab for tests. These tests will show if the cells of your esophagus have dysplasia (abnormal changes to your cells and tissues).

  • Esophageal manometry measures the pressure in the esophagus and the stomach.

  • Esophageal pH monitoring is a test in which a small probe is placed inside the esophagus to check the pH of your stomach and esophagus. The pH measures how much acid is in your esophagus and stomach. It can also measure the amount of acid and bile that back up into the esophagus.

Treatment:

The following surgeries or procedures may be done if you have high-grade dysplasia:

  • Fundoplication is a surgery that wraps the upper part of your stomach around the esophageal sphincter to strengthen it. The esophageal sphincter is the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus, right above the stomach. This may help to prevent reflux.

  • Resection or esophagectomy is surgery to remove a part of or the entire esophagus.

  • Ablation is procedure that kills abnormal cells with heat or by freezing them.

  • Photodynamic therapy is a procedure that uses a special type of light to kill abnormal cells. It is used in combination with medicines that make the abnormal cells sensitive to light.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Barrett Esophagus (Inpatient Care)

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