BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuBarrett esophagusBarrett's esophagus; GERD - Barrett; Reflux - BarrettBarrett esophagus (BE) is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid. The esophagus is also called the food pipe, and it connects your throat to your stomach.People with BE have an increased risk for cancer in the area involved. However, cancer is not common. Causes When you eat, food passes from your throat to your stomach through the esophagus. A ring of muscle fibers in the lower esophagus keeps stomach contents from moving backward.If these muscles do not close tightly, harsh stomach acid can leak into the esophagus. This is called reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). It may cause tissue damage over time. The lining becomes similar to that of the stomach.Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus (food pipe). F...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BE occurs more often in men than women. People who have had GERD for a long time are more likely to have this condition. Symptoms BE itself does not cause symptoms. The acid reflux that causes BE often leads to symptoms of heartburn. Many people with this condition do not have any symptoms.Acid refluxGastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus (food pipe). F...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests You may need an endoscopy if GERD symptoms are severe or come back after treatment.EndoscopyEndoscopy is a way of looking inside the body using a flexible tube that has a small camera and light on the end of it. This instrument is called an...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article During the endoscopy, your endoscopist may take tissue samples (biopsies) from different parts of the esophagus. These samples help detect the condition. They also help look for changes that could lead to cancer.BiopsiesA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Your provider may recommend a follow-up endoscopy to look for cell changes that indicate cancer at regular intervals. Treatment TREATMENT OF GERDTreatment should improve acid reflux symptoms, and may keep BE from getting worse. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes and medicines such as:Acid reflux symptomsGastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Antacids after meals and at bedtime AntacidsAntacids help to treat heartburn (indigestion). They work by neutralizing the stomach acid that causes heartburn. You can buy many antacids without ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Histamine H2 receptor blockers Proton pump inhibitors Proton pump inhibitorsProton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines that work by reducing the amount of stomach acid made by glands in the lining of your stomach.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Avoiding use of tobacco, chocolate, and caffeineLifestyle changes, medicines, and anti-reflux surgery may help with symptoms of GERD. However, these steps will not make BE go away.Anti-reflux surgeryAnti-reflux surgery is a treatment for acid reflux, also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD is a condition in which food or stoma...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article TREATMENT OF BARRETT ESOPHAGUSEndoscopic biopsy can show changes in the cell that may be cancer. You provider may advise surgery or other procedures to treat it.Some of the following procedures remove the harmful tissue in your esophagus: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a special laser device, called an esophageal balloon, along with a medicine called Photofrin. Other procedures use different types of high energy to destroy the precancerous tissue. Surgery to remove the abnormal lining. Outlook (Prognosis) Treatment should improve acid reflux symptoms and may keep BE from getting worse. None of these treatments will reverse the changes that may lead to cancer.People with chronic GERD or Barrett esophagitis generally need to be monitored for cancer of the esophagus. When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if:Heartburn lasts for longer than a few days, or you have pain or problems swallowing. You have been diagnosed with BE and your symptoms get worse. You develop new symptoms (such as weight loss, problems swallowing). Prevention Early detection and treatment of GERD may prevent BE.Open ReferencesReferencesFalk GW, Katzka DA. Diseases of the esophagus. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 129.Jackson AS, Louie BE. Management of Barrett's esophagus. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:19-25.Ku GY, Ilson DH. Cancer of the esophagus. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 71.Shaheen NJ, Falk GW, Iyer PG, Gerson LB; American College of Gastroenterology. ACG clinical guideline: diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2016;111(7):1077. PMID: 26526079 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26526079/.AllVideoImagesTogDigestive system - illustration The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.Digestive systemillustrationEsophagus and stomach anatomy - illustration Food is swallowed and passes through the esophagus to the stomach, where the majority of digestion takes place.Esophagus and stomach anatomyillustrationDigestive system - illustration The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.Digestive systemillustrationEsophagus and stomach anatomy - illustration Food is swallowed and passes through the esophagus to the stomach, where the majority of digestion takes place.Esophagus and stomach anatomyillustrationRelated Information Gastroesophageal reflux disease(Condition)Stomach acid test(Medical Test)Esophageal cancer(Condition)Anti-reflux surgery(Surgery)Gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn(In-Depth) Review Date: 2/7/2022 Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.