Barrett's esophagus is most often diagnosed in people with GERD who are being examined for GERD complications. If your doctor discovers Barrett's esophagus on an endoscopy exam, you may be referred to a doctor who treats digestive diseases (gastroenterologist).
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating solid food on the day before your appointment.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
- Make a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
- Ask a relative or friend to accompany you to help you remember what the doctor says.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
- Do my lab reports show abnormal tissue (dysplasia)? If so, what is the grade of my dysplasia?
- How much of my esophagus is affected?
- How often should I be screened for changes to my esophagus?
- What is my risk of esophageal cancer?
- What are the treatment options?
- Do I need to make diet or other lifestyle changes?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may make time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:
Aug. 07, 2014
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms? How severe are they?
- Are your symptoms continuous or occasional?
- What, if anything, seems to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Do you experience acid reflux symptoms?
- Do you take any medications for reflux or indigestion?
- Do you have difficulty swallowing?
- Have you lost weight?
- Spechler SJ, et al. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- Spechler SJ, et al. Management of Barrett's esophagus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Who should be screened for Barrett esophagus? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Estores D, et al. Barrett Esophagus: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management. Current Problems in Surgery. 2013;50:192.
- Nelsen EM, et al. Diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2012;92:1135.
- Gorospe EC, et al. Risk stratification and surveillance in Barrett's esophagus. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. In press. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- Spechler SJ, et al. Pathogenesis of Barrett's esophagus and its malignant transformation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- Qumseya BJ, et al. Advanced imaging technologies increase detection of dysplasia and neoplasia in patients with Barrett's esophagus: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013;11:1562.
- Bergman JJ, et al. Radiofrequency ablation for Barrett's esophagus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2014.
- Tomizawa Y, et al. Assessment of the diagnostic performance and interobserver variability of endocytoscopy in Barrett's esophagus: A pilot ex-vivo study. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2013;19:8652.
- Ek WE, et al. Germline genetic contributions to risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma, Barrett's esophagus, and gastroesophageal reflux. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2013;105:1711.
- Barrett's Esophagus. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/barretts/index.aspx. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.