Barrett's Esophagus in San Antonio, TX
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What is Barrett's esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and develops if the regular tissue that lines the esophagus changes to resemble the tissue lining of the intestine. Although the risk of esophageal cancer heightens with those who have Barrett’s esophagus, the risk of getting cancer from this condition is less than 1%. If you have GERD, then we encourage you to arrange routine appointments with a San Antonio, TX digestive health specialist to monitor your condition and check for symptoms of Barrett's esophagus. You can find a nearby gastrointestinal specialist through San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates.
Who gets Barrett’s esophagus?
The primary risk factor for Barrett’s esophagus includes long-term untreated GERD. Not everyone that has GERD develops Barrett’s esophagus; however, if the acid reflux is not managed, over time it is likely that an individual may experience Barrett’s. High-risk factors are:
- Being a caucasian
- Being a male
- History of smoking
- Having excess belly fat
- Being over age 50
Our GI specialists provide personalized care for Barrett's esophagus in San Antonio, TX. If you think you could be at risk, please reach out to our team to request a consultation.
What are the symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus?
There are no noticeable symptoms associated with the tissue change in Barrett’s esophagus. Most of the time, individuals who have this GI problem will not show any indications.
In the event that you have been experiencing heartburn or any other similar symptoms of acid reflux for an extended duration of time, the San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates providers recommend talking with your digestive health specialist. The only way to know if you have Barrett’s esophagus is to undergo a front-end endoscopy and have a biopsy taken from the tissue lining in your esophagus.
Some of the symptoms connected with Barrett’s esophagus:
- Regular acid reflux (heartburn)
- Having trouble swallowing
- Chest pain (less common)
What are the treatments for Barrett’s esophagus?
The treatment for Barrett’s esophagus is distinct from other GI diseases and given based on the degree of precancerous cell formation, called dysplasia, existing in your esophageal lining.
The varying stages of dysplasia and possible solutions are:
- Barrett's esophagus without dysplasia: Even if abnormal cells are not present, it is still vital to arrange routine testing with your gastroenterologist to look for changes in the esophageal cells. Your physician will also typically suggest solutions similar to those who have GERD, such as behavioral recommendations or prescription medication.
- Mild-grade dysplasia: With a low amount of precancerous cell formation, you may need to have endoscopic resection or radiofrequency ablation for therapy.
- High-grade dysplasia: With a higher level of precancerous esophageal lining, freezing treatments, light-based treatments, or esophagectomy might be necessary.
Help and hope for Barrett's esophagus
If you are dealing with GERD, then failure to manage your condition can bring about Barrett's esophagus. This alarming but treatable complication of acid reflux can be assessed and managed by a qualified gastroenterologist. To locate a GI specialist who can work with you to treat your GI tract issues, such as Barrett's esophagus, we invite you to get in touch with the best-in-class network of GI specialists at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location in your community. Reach out to our San Antonio, TX locations to achieve digestive wellness today.
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