Barrett’s Esophagus Specialist

Digestive Disorders Associates and MDTEC

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Annapolis, MD

Barrett’s esophagus can be effectively treated with the right medical approach. The gastroenterologists at Digestive Disorders Associates of Annapolis, Chester, and Gambrills/Waugh Chapel, Maryland are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating Barrett’s esophagus. With comprehensive consultations, individualized treatment plans, extensive diagnostic testing, and state-of-the-art equipment and technology, the attentive group of medical professionals provides the highest standard of care. Call or conveniently book your appointment online.

Barrett's Esophagus Q & A

What is Barrett’s esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus develops when the tissue in your esophagus, the tube that connects your stomach and mouth, is replaced by tissue similar to your intestinal lining. 

The condition is often diagnosed in people with long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a chronic regurgitation of stomach acid that flows backward into the lower part of the esophagus. Only a small percentage of people with GERD go on to develop Barrett’s esophagus. 

The hallmark tissue changes of Barrett’s esophagus don’t cause any symptoms. Any symptoms you experience are likely due to GERD and can include:

  • Frequent heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing food

If you have severe chest pain and are vomiting blood, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

 

What causes Barrett’s esophagus?

The cause of Barrett’s esophagus isn’t clear, but there is some connection to GERD in many people.

With GERD, the stomach contents wash back into the esophagus and damage esophageal tissue over time. As your body attempts to heal itself, the cells can change to the type of cells found in Barrett’s esophagus.

 Factors that might increase your risk of Barrett’s esophagus include:

  • Chronic heartburn and acid reflux
  • Aging
  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being a current or previous smoker

Barrett’s esophagus is associated with a heightened risk of esophageal cancer. While the risk is small, it’s essential you have regular checkups with your Digestive Disorders Associates specialist to look for precancerous cells (dysplasia).

 

What are the treatments for Barrett’s esophagus?

The right treatment for Barrett’s esophagus depends on the extent of abnormal cell growth in your esophagus and your health overall.

The Digestive Disorder Associates team works diligently to diagnose and treat Barrett’s esophagus and offers a range of treatments, including:

  • Periodic endoscopy and medical monitoring
  • Medications
  • Lifestyle changes

If your Barrett’s esophagus is severe or precancerous, your Digestive Disorders specialist might also recommend surgery when necessary. Surgeries such as endoscopic resection or radiofrequency ablation can damage or remove abnormal tissue. 

It’s also helpful to maintain a healthy weight and eliminate foods and drinks that might trigger heartburn, such as coffee and alcohol. Quit smoking, and try elevating your head when you sleep at night to lessen excess acid reflux while you sleep.

If you have concerns about your digestive health, call or click to schedule your personal consultation with your Digestive Disorders Associates specialist.