Preparing for your appointment

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 precancerous changes (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?
  • Do I have dysplasia and if so was it confirmed by an expert pathologist?
  • What's 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 additional 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:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms? How severe are they?
  • Are your symptoms continuous or occasional?
  • What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms? Does anything make your symptoms better?
  • Do you experience acid reflux symptoms?
  • Do you take any medications for reflux or indigestion?
  • Do you have difficulty swallowing?
  • Have you lost weight?
July 13, 2017
References
  1. Ferri FF. Barrett's esophagus. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 17, 2017.
  2. Spechler SJ, et al. Barrett's esophagus: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 17, 2017.
  3. Shaheen NJ, et al. ACG clinical guideline: Diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2016;111:30.
  4. Barrett's Esophagus. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/barretts-esophagus/all-content. Accessed Feb. 19, 2017.
  5. Feldman M, et al. Barrett's esophagus. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 17, 2017.
  6. Hu Q, et al. Proton pump inhibitors do not reduce the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017;12:1.
  7. Krishnamoorthi R, et al. Risk of recurrence of Barrett's esophagus after successful endoscopic therapy. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2016;83:1090.
  8. Brown A. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 25, 2017.