If you have chronic acid reflux issues, your risk for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer increases. At Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, with offices in Plymouth, La Porte, South Bend, Indiana, and at The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street, the skilled gastroenterologists offer routine screenings and treatment services for Barrett’s esophagus on-site. They also perform minimally invasive surgeries to destroy precancerous or cancerous cells in your esophageal lining. If you have frequent heartburn or acid reflux symptoms, call the Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc office nearest to you to book an appointment today.
Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of chronic acid reflux, a condition also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD occurs when there is weakness in your esophageal sphincter, a muscle that opens to allow food to pass through. When you’re done eating, the muscle closes to keep acids down in your stomach. A weak muscle can allow stomach acids to flow back up into your esophagus (acid reflux).
If stomach acids damage the esophageal lining, the cells in this tissue may change over time as they try to heal and protect the esophagus. This change describes Barrett’s esophagus.
If you develop Barrett’s esophagus, you may be at increased risk for developing esophageal cancer. It’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation and routine follow-up visits at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc to lower your risk for damage that can lead to cancer.
You should schedule a consultation for Barrett’s esophagus testing at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc if you have frequent heartburn from acid reflux or GERD.
The providers can evaluate the health of your esophagus during a minimally invasive endoscopy procedure. They use a thin, lighted tube to check for changes in the tissue of your esophageal lining.
You should also seek immediate medical attention at the nearest hospital or by calling 911 if you have sudden and severe chest pain, difficulty swallowing, or are vomiting blood. These symptoms can be a warning sign of a heart attack or other serious condition.
Your treatment plan for Barrett’s esophagus depends on the number of abnormal cells you have in the lining of your esophagus. Initially, you may need to make lifestyle and diet changes to reach a healthy weight. The providers might also recommend eating smaller, more frequent meals to minimize acid reflux symptoms.
In early stages, you may not need treatment but should continue to schedule regular screenings at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc. The providers can also help you manage GERD symptoms with medications or surgery to protect your esophageal health.
If the physicians find precancerous or cancerous cells in your esophagus, they may destroy them with radiofrequency ablation (heat therapy) or cryotherapy (cold therapy). They can also use endoscopy to remove damaged cells.
You also need routine screenings after treatment because Barrett’s esophagus can return. The providers can discuss how often you need testing during your consultation.
Call the Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc office nearest to you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for Barrett’s esophagus today.