Tissues similar to the intestinal lining replace the tissue in the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus) in Barrett’s esophagus. Those people who have long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are sometimes diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. However, the percentage is small. There is an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer if one has Barrett’s esophagus. It is important to have regular checkups for precancerous cells (dysplasia), although the risk is small. The best gastroenterologist in Kolkata also suggests this. The precancerous cells can be treated to prevent esophageal cancer if they are discovered.
There are no symptoms of the tissue changes that characterize Barrett’s esophagus. GERD mainly causes the signs and symptoms that you experience. These include:
- Frequent heartburn
- Difficulty in swallowing food
- Less commonly, chest pain
It is still not known what exactly causes Barrett’s esophagus. There is long-standing GERD in most people with Barrett’s esophagus. The stomach contents wash back in the esophagus in GERD and this damages the esophagus tissue. The cells can change to the type of cells found in Barrett’s esophagus, as the esophagus tries to heal itself. However, there is no experience of heartburn or acid reflux in some people diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus.
To determine if you have Barrett’s esophagus, the top gastroenterologist in Kolkata will ask you to go for an endoscopy. In order to check for signs of changing esophagus tissue, a lighted tube with a camera at the end (endoscope) is passed down your throat. The appearance of the tissue is red and velvety in Barrett’s esophagus whereas normal esophagus tissue appears pale and glossy. The tissue from your esophagus will be removed by your doctor. For determining the degree of change, that tissue can be examined.
On the extent of abnormal cell growth in your esophagus and your overall health, the treatment for Barrett’s esophagus depends:
Your doctor will likely recommend:
- Periodic endoscopy for monitoring the cells in your esophagus
- Treatment for GERD
It should be verified by an experienced pathologist if low-grade dysplasia is found. The best gastroenterologist in Kolkata will recommend another endoscopy in six months for low-grade dysplasia, with additional follow-up every six to twelve months. If the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment may be recommended as there is a risk of esophageal cancer. The following are some preferred treatments:
- Endoscopic Resection
- Radiofrequency ablation
A precursor to esophageal cancer is generally high-grade dysplasia. Endoscopic resection or radiofrequency ablation may be recommended by the top gastroenterologist in Kolkata. The following are some other options for treatment:
- Photodynamic therapy