Medical Specialty >> Gastroenterology

Doctors Lounge - Gastroenterology Answers

Back to Gastroenterology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: What to know about Barrett's

 jennifer1b - Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:22 am

I am a 63 yr old woman who has recently been diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus. I take meds for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gerd. My mom is still alive at age 95 my sister passed away from pancreatic cancer. While I haven't read the biopsy report, they told me on the phone that there was no dysplasia and to have endoscopies done every 2 years. Now I am going to my primary doctor and want to know what questions I should ask about this. What should I be doing to prevent this condition from turning to cancer? Is there any other treatment that I should consider? I've read about several options. What are the chances of this spreading to other parts of my body. I have read of laporoscopic surgeries but wonder if they should be done now before I am too old. The gastroenterologist seems to have done his job and left me with all these questions. Please help to explain what this is all about and how to help my doctor and I make good decisions now. Thank you so much for this opportunity.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:08 pm

User avatar You've asked some great questions. To start, Barretts disease is also known as Barrett's esophagus because it only affects the esophagus. It does not spread elsewhere.

Barrett's disease is caused by the acid of the stomach washing up into the esophagus during reflux episodes. The lining of the esophagus is not intended to be constantly bathed in acid so the acid induces the lining of the esophagus to change into a lining more consistent with stomach lining. This change also leads to an increased risk of cancer.

The best thing to do is to be sure that your reflux is very well controlled. If medical treatment is not successful, a laproscopic surgery may be needed to control the reflux, known as a fundoplication. A 24 hour pH probe can be done to measure how often you are refluxing. This can help in decisions about whether or not surgery is needed. The surgery is not without side effects so if it is not needed it is usually recommended not to do it.

Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us