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Barrett’s Esophagus – Terre Haute Regional Hospital


– Barrett’s Esophagus is a
unique condition of the esophagus in which your lining of the esophagus gets changed to the stomach
and intestinal lining. And the reason why it’s important because it has a cancer potential. And this is preventable. Now it is a very specific cycle, so first of all, it’s normally,
esophagus gets changed to Barrett’s Esophagus. Then Barrett’s esophagus
can change to dysplasia. And from dysplasia, it can
turn into esophageal cancer. Now, you want to find a patient who has
Barrett’s esophagus, first of all, and then people that you identified
as Barrett’s subgroup, you want to detect them in
the stage of dysplasia that, so that you prevent them from
having esophageal cancer. So that’s why people who
have Barrett’s esophagus, every few years, three to five years, they need to have an endoscopy. To make sure that they
don’t have dysplasia. So how do we do that? What we do is we do the regular endoscopy, and we take samples, every four quadrants, from every one to two centimeter, and we check for dysplasia. If in any quadrant we see dysplasia, then we have a modality,
which is called RFA, radiofrequency ablation, we can burn the whole inner
lining of the esophagus of that part of Barrett’s esophagus and you can prevent esophageal cancer. The second thing is, how to detect patients
with Barrett’s esophagus. So there is no generalized guidelines who need to have screening
for Barrett’s esophagus. But, there are certain risk factors who can be checked for
Barrett’s esophagus. For example, people who
are over the age of 50, especially men who are
smokers and who are obese and who have reflux for
more than ten years. So those are the risk factors
for Barrett’s esophagus. Studies have shown if you look for them and you do the endoscopy
once in their lifetime, and they, there’s a very high chance that you may find Barrett’s, and once you find Barrett’s,
you try to find for this, you try to look for dysplasia. And as soon as you find
dysplasia, you treat them, so that you can prevent esophageal cancer. Especially it’s very common in Caucasians, so it’s very common in Midwest.

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