Barrett's Esophagus in Northwest Arkansas

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Barrett's esophagus is a potential complication of long-term GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This problem occurs when the regular tissue that lines your esophagus alters to match intestinal tissue. Although the risk of cancer of the esophagus escalates with individuals who have Barrett's esophagus, the risk of developing cancer from Barrett's esophagus is smaller than 1%. When you or your loved one experiences gastroesophageal reflux disease, then please arrange routine appointments with an Arkansas GI physician to oversee your health and look for signs of Barrett's esophagus. We can help you find a local GI physician through GI Alliance of Arkansas.

The biggest risk factor for the development of Barrett's esophagus is long-term neglect of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. GERD doesn't always develop into Barrett’s esophagus; however, if the acid reflux is left untreated, over time, it is possible that someone may experience Barrett's. Factors that may increase your risk of Barrett's esophagus include:

  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Smoking (or having a history of smoking)
  • Genetics
  • Having large amounts of abdominal fat
  • Being a male
  • Being white (although Barrett's esophagus can affect any person of any descent)

Our digestive health specialists provided experienced care for Barrett's esophagus in Arkansas. If you think you might be at risk, please contact our team to set up an appointment.

Because this condition affects the lining of the esophagus, many patients may not notice any apparent symptoms. In fact, people who have Barrett's esophagus often might not experience any indications or signs.

In the case that you have been experiencing heartburn or other forms of symptoms for prolonged periods of time, the GI Alliance of Arkansas gastroenterologists advise consulting your GI doctor for testing and treatment. The only certain approach to determine if you have Barrett's esophagus is to do an upper endoscopy and run an exam of the tissue lining in your esophagus.

Some of the indicators connected with Barrett's esophagus:

  • Chest pain (less common)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Daily acid reflux (heartburn)

Treating Barrett's esophagus is different from treating other gastrointestinal afflictions. The particular attention provided is based on the amount of atypical cell growth, referred to as dysplasia, in the esophagus lining.

The various phases of dysplasia (abnormal cell growth) and standard treatments include:

  • Barrett's esophagus without dysplasia: Even if no abnormal tissue is found, it is still essential to schedule routine endoscopies with your gastroenterologist to monitor alterations to the tissue in the esophagus. Your physician will also usually advise interventions similar to those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (like behavioral advice or prescription drugs).
  • Mild dysplasia: With a low level of precancerous tissue formation, you can need to have endoscopic mucosal resection or radiofrequency ablation for removal.
  • High-grade dysplasia: For those who have a greater level of change in the esophagus lining, freezing treatments, photodynamic therapy, or an esophagectomy could be needed.
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If you regularly suffer from acid reflux, then neglecting your condition may lead to Barrett's esophagus. This severe but fixable result of gastroesophageal reflux disease can be verified and handled by a skilled gastroenterologist. If you want to locate a GI specialist who will work with you to treat your gastrointestinal tract disease, such as Barrett's esophagus, please contact the experts at GI Alliance of Arkansas. The providers at GI Alliance of Arkansas are skilled, board-certified gastroenterologists and experts in conditions such as Barrett's esophagus. Reach out to our Arkansas facility to connect with your expert in digestive health now.

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