What is Barrett’s Oesophagus?
Barrett’s Oesophagus or Barrett’s Epithelium is an adaptive change that occurs in some patients with longstanding reflux disease.
How is it different from reflux disease?
Patients with Barrett’s Oesophagus sometimes have less heartburn than expected as the new adaptive tissue in the food pipe is resistant to acid. Barrett’s Epithelium increases the risk of adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus.
How it is diagnosed?
The diagnosis is suspected during endoscopy but is confirmed histologically (pathologist looks at the biopsy samples under a microscope).
How is it treated?
If Barrett’s Oesophagus is confirmed, long term acid suppression and anti-reflux lifestyle changes are recommended. Your gastroenterologist will also recommend surveillance gastroscopies with biopsies. The time interval depends on the length of the Barrett’s Oesophagus and the degree of changes seen in the biopsy specimen.