Barrett’s Esophagus is a condition that is caused by repetitive acid exposure and damage over time in which the typical cells of the esophagus are replaced with intestinal cells. Barrett’s Esophagus is a condition that increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer. This condition most commonly occurs in men over age 55, though can be present in women and patients younger than 55 years old. Tobacco use is also associated with an increased risk of Barrett’s.
For the diagnosis of Barrett’s an upper endoscopy / EGD will be performed and biopsies will be taken from the esophagus for examination by a pathologist. The pathologist will determine the presence or absence as well as level of dysplasia. The level of dysplasia determines the severity of this condition and will also help to dictate further management. Management may include improved control of GERD symptoms as well as further endoscopic or surgical treatments.