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Barrett’s Oesophagus

What is it?

A condition in which abnormal cell changes occur in the lower end of the gullet.


Throat scan
May be caused by acid reflux. Acid from the stomach may rise up into the oesophagus and irritate the cells inside. This causes inflammation (swelling and pain) also known as oesophagitis and over a long period of time, may eventually cause the cells to change.

How common is it?

About 1 in 20 people who have recurring acid reflux (over several years) may develop Barrett's oesophagus. The condition is more common in men than women usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 70 years. Other risk factors for Barrett's oesophagus may include being overweight and smoking.

How is it treated?

The main treatment is reduction of acid reflux and also regular check ups to ensure that the cells do not become cancerous. This is carried out by endoscopy together with biopsy.

What are the complications?

Increased risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus. The risk is small, but regular investigations will be needed.