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Barrett’s Esophagus Specialist

Digestive Disease Specialists

Gastroenterology Practice located in Moline, IL & Bettendorf, IA

Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that can lead to esophageal cancer. The gastroenterologists at Digestive Disease Specialists with offices in Moline, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, offer advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for Barrett’s esophagus, so you avoid complications. Call today and set up an appointment online if you have a history of GERD or have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus.

Barrett’s Esophagus Q&A

What is Barrett’s esophagus?

When you have Barrett’s esophagus, the tissue that lines the esophagus changes. It becomes more like the lining of your small intestines. Usually, these changes occur in the lower portion of the esophagus, where it connects to your stomach. 

It’s likely caused by chronic inflammation caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or chronic acid reflux. The condition puts you at risk of developing a rare type of esophageal cancer. 

What are the symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus?

The condition leading up to Barrett’s esophagus, GERD, causes symptoms, but Barrett’s esophagus does not. That’s why regular visits to Digestive Disease Specialists are important if you have chronic acid reflux. 

Symptoms associated with GERD include:

  • Heartburn
  • Laryngitis
  • Chest pain
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the back of the mouth
  • Frequent respiratory infections

If you have GERD, the team at Digestive Disease Specialists recommends regular visits to the office so they can keep tabs on your symptoms and monitor you for complications like Barrett’s esophagus.

How is Barrett’s esophagus diagnosed?

An upper endoscopy and biopsy specimen of your esophageal tissue is used to diagnose Barrett’s esophagus.

These advanced diagnostic tests may be a regular part of your GERD evaluation. If Barrett’s esophagus is suspected, your doctor takes a tissue sample during the endoscopy. This biopsy specimen is sent to a lab for evaluation. The biopsy results can confirm or rule out Barrett’s esophagus. 

If you are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, these regular screenings and tissue biopsies are recommended at regular visits. This helps your provider find and treat cancer, should it develop during the early stages, which increases your chances of a full recovery.

How is Barrett’s esophagus treated?

Your Barrett’s esophagus treatment plan is customized to the severity of your tissue changes and your overall health. You’ll be monitored for cancer development with regular endoscopies and biopsies. Your gastroenterologist also provides recommendations for managing your GERD, which may include lifestyle modification and medication.

Patients who have severe tissue damage may require endoscopic ablative therapy, which destroys the tissue and stimulates the growth of normal esophageal tissue. 

If you need regular monitoring and treatment for Barrett’s esophagus, call Digestive Disease Specialists today to set up an appointment or use this website to schedule online.