Barrett's esophagus

Uncontrolled acid reflux can lead to serious heart burn and swallowing trouble, which leads to Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a swallowing disorder caused by normal cells in your body lining your food pipe. This disorder is commonly caused by frequent heart burn (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD).

At Spectrum Health, we have Barrett’s esophagus experts dedicated to the treatment of this precancerous condition. Our multispecialty team is led by gastroenterologists and includes surgeons, pathologists and nurses with expertise in medical, surgical and endoscopic management of Barrett’s Esophagus.

Treatment options

Without treatment, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can lead to other serious issues. Diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce your symptoms. If surgery is needed for your treatment, we offer Incisionless Surgery, which is introduced through the mouth so no incisions are needed. This means shorter hospital stays, less incision pain and fewer complications after surgery.

Acid reduction medicine
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You may be given medicine to reduce how much acid is in your stomach. Managing GERD, or acid reflux, is an important part of preventing further damage to your esophagus.

Dilation treatment
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Damage to your esophagus can cause it to narrow. We can use a tool to gently stretch (dilate) the narrow part. This widens the opening of your esophagus and brings relief to trouble swallowing.

Radiofrequency ablation
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This newer treatment uses heat wavelengths to abolish abnormal cells. As the esophagus heals, it grows back normal cells.

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This surgery has a medical name of fundoplication. While surgery isn't always the first choice, this option can be worth the results. It removes the damaged tissue or part of the esophagus. What's remaining of the esophagus is then joined to the stomach.

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About our service

A multispecialty team providing comprehensive, personalized treatment plans for patients with Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition caused by chronic gastrointestinal reflux disease. The team includes surgeons, pathologists and nurses with expertise in medical, surgical and endoscopic management of Barrett’s esophagus.

To be eligible for referral, patients must be diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus and have at least one of the following criteria:

  • Any type of dysplasia
  • Family history of esophageal cancer
  • Under age 50 with long-segment BE defined as segments greater than 3 centimeters in length

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