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How is an endoscopy done to diagnose Barrett's esophagus?

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To perform an endoscopy, a doctor called a gastroenterologist inserts a long flexible tube with a camera attached down the throat into the esophagus after giving the patient a sedative. The process may feel a little uncomfortable, but it isn't painful. Most people have little or no problem with it.

Once the tube is inserted, the doctor can visually inspect the lining of the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus, if it's there, is visible on camera, but the diagnosis requires a biopsy.

The doctor will remove a small sample of tissue to be examined under a microscope in the laboratory to confirm a diagnosis. The sample will also be examined for the presence of precancerous cells or cancer. I

f the biopsy confirms the presence of Barrett's esophagus, your doctor will probably recommend a follow-up endoscopy and biopsy to examine more tissue for early signs of developing cancer.

SOURCES :

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Barrett's Esophagus."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Barrett's esophagus."

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: "GERD, Barrett's Esophogus, and the Risk for Esophageal Cancer."

Smith K., et al. August 2009; vol 7: pp 840-848. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

National Heartburn Alliance: "What You Should Know About Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer."

 Ferri: Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient,  8th ed.

Feldman: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease,  9th ed.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2017

SOURCES :

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Barrett's Esophagus."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Barrett's esophagus."

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: "GERD, Barrett's Esophogus, and the Risk for Esophageal Cancer."

Smith K., et al. August 2009; vol 7: pp 840-848. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

National Heartburn Alliance: "What You Should Know About Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer."

 Ferri: Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient,  8th ed.

Feldman: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease,  9th ed.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2017

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Why do you need a repeat endoscopy for Barrett's esophagus?

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