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Barrett Esophagus


Barrett esophagus is a condition that is also called intestinal metaplasia. Cells that line your esophagus change into cells that are like intestine cells. The change increases your risk for esophageal cancer.

Digestive Tract


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  • 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.


  • Blood and bowel movement may be collected and sent to a lab for tests.
  • An endoscopy is a procedure 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 healthcare provider 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.


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.


Even with treatment, abnormal cells may grow again and cause more problems. Left untreated, Barrett esophagus can develop into esophageal cancer. The cancer can spread to other parts of your body. When cancer spreads, it becomes more difficult to treat and other serious medical problems can develop.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

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