Barrett’s Esophagus Specialist in Chicago, IL
What is Barrett’s esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus is a change that occurs within the cellular lining of the esophagus — the swallowing tube that carries foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. It is a pre-cancerous condition that is caused by chronic backwash of stomach contents, such as acids and enzymes.
It’s more common than you may think: About 12 million American adults have Barrett’s esophagus, but only 1.5 million have been diagnosed.
What are the symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus?
People with Barrett’s esophagus may not have any symptoms, but if you have the following, it may indicate a need for further testing:
- Chronic heartburn
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
Who is at risk?
Factors that may put you at risk for Barrett’s esophagus include: obesity, Caucasian ethnicity, family history of Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer, and being male. Up to 26.5 percent of people with chronic GERD may develop Barrett’s esophagus in their lifetime.
It’s important to note that when diagnosis and treatment are delayed, chronic GERD can increase the risk for Barrett’s esophagus.
How is Barrett’s esophagus diagnosed?
We will want to visualize your esophagus first. We do this using an endoscope, in which a small flexible tube with a light at the end (the endoscope) is passed through the mouth and into the esophagus. This tube has a camera that allows us to look at the lining of the esophagus.
During the endoscopy, if we see any abnormalities, we may take a sample of the tissue to confirm the diagnosis and determine severity.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suspect that you may be experiencing symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus, call (773) 631-2728 to schedule an appointment today!