About Barrett's esophagus

As many as 10 percent of the American population suffers from the very common gastrointestinal disorder called gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as heartburn and acid indigestion.

Barrett's nodules with high grade dysplasia. Click to Enlarge

Barrett's cancer columns. Click to Enlarge
Stomach contents commonly reflux into the esophagus and can also reflux from the esophagus into back of the throat or even the airways. Patients with GERD can develop inflammation and ulceration (esophagitis), or even scarring (stricture) in the esophagus.

A long history of GERD may lead to a precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus, where the lining of the esophagus changes to resemble the lining of the intestine. Patients with Barrett's esophagus usually have symptoms similar to those produced by gastroesophageal reflux, such as heartburn and acid indigestion. Some Barrett's patients may also suffer from other complications of reflux, such as esophageal ulcers and strictures-narrowing of the esophagus that comes from scarring.

Dr Ertan offers the most current evaluation, an individualized short-term and long-term management plans for Barrett's patients.   Diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus requires an examination called upper endoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) with biopsies and with monitoring by regular EGD exams. Approximately 5 % of patients with Barrett's esophagus have the risk of esophageal cancer.

Current strategies for improved survival in patients with Barrett's cancer focus on cancer detection at an early and potentially curable stage. Dr Ertan treats by managing a high quality multidisciplinary team which includes expert pathologists, radiologists, surgeons and oncologists.