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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Barrett's Esophagus: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's Esophagus | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment of Barrett's esophagus focuses on eliminating GERD. People with GERD can minimize symptoms by:

  • avoiding carbonated drinks and fruit juices
  • avoiding fatty or spicy foods
  • eating small, frequent meals
  • limiting caffeine intake
  • limiting intake of alcohol, especially red wine
  • managing weight to avoid obesity
  • not eating food within 3 hours of bedtime
  • not smoking or using tobacco products
  • sleeping with the head of the bed elevated
  • staying upright after eating
  • Some of the common medical and surgical treatments for GERD include the following:

  • fundoplication, a surgical procedure that strengthens the esophageal sphincter
  • GI stimulants that empty the stomach faster, such as metoclopramide
  • H2 blockers, such as cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine
  • proton-pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, or rabeprazole
  • A surgical procedure known as dilation is done to correct an esophageal stricture. The surgeon passes a series of dilators down the esophagus. The dilators gently stretch the narrowed opening apart.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing that can prevent the cells of Barrett's esophagus from changing into cancer.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Medicines used to treat GERD may cause dry mouth, bloating, and allergic reactions. Surgery can cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    The abnormal cells of Barrett's esophagus cannot be changed back into normal cells. The cells also cannot be stopped from changing into cancer. It is important to treat the GERD to prevent further damage.

    How is the condition monitored?

    The healthcare provider may order regular esophagoscopy exams to check for cancer. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Barrett's Esophagus: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: David J. Craner, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 08/09/01

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