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What is Barrett’s Esophagus? ,
Woman suffering from GERD.

Barrett’s esophagus is when the lining of the esophagus changes because of acid reflux. This condition is generally a life-long condition, and it does have the possibility of turning into esophageal cancer. Therefore, it’s important to understand what Barrett’s esophagus is and how you should care for it.

Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is caused by GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Acid reflux is a common condition familiarly known as heartburn. The burning sensation in your lower chest happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. When a person suffers frequent acid reflux more than twice a week, it is considered GERD. Ongoing GERD can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus. In addition, Barrett’s esophagus can lead to esophageal cancer.

Keep an Eye on Your GERD

We’ve all probably experienced heartburn, or acid reflux, at some point. It can be brought on by coffee, spicy food, citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, cheese, peppermint and other foods. Typically, foods that are high in fat or acid are the culprits. Eating a very large meal can cause acid reflux, as can certain medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen.

If you experience frequent heartburn, speak to your doctor about it. If left untreated, the acid moving up into your esophagus can bring on changes in the cells of the throat. The lining of the esophagus changes from pink to red and thickens from the damage, causing the tissues lining the esophagus to become more like the tissues of the intestines.

Symptoms include heartburn and even regurgitation and sometimes trouble swallowing. In addition, there may be accompanying chest pain. However, some people develop Barrett’s without ever noticing any symptoms.

Endoscopy is Used to Observe the Lower Esophagus

Barrett’s requires regular observation through endoscopy. The doctor will use a long flexible tube with a light and a camera to look down the throat into the lower esophagus every few years. Changes such as polyps may be observed and are removed and biopsied.

Does Barrett’s Esophagus Mean Cancer?

While it is true that Barrett’s may lead to esophageal cancer, it’s by no means certain. The risk remains very low, 1% to13%, in a lifetime, if the endoscopies and the acid-reducing medication are continued.

Risk Factors of Barrett’s Esophagus

Risk factors of Barrett’s esophagus include:

  • Family history
  • Being Caucasian
  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • History of frequent acid reflux
  • Smoking

Dr. David P. Yamini, MD, is a gastroenterologist practicing in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. He is professionally trained and experienced in treating GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus. Contact Dr. Yamini today to discuss your ongoing heartburn to ensure it isn’t something more serious.

Posted on behalf of David P. Yamini, MD

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David P. Yamini, MD

4.9 / 5.0

Based on 58 reviews

Nicole R.

Scheduling was extremely easy with Dr. Yamini's staff, I scheduled my Tuesday appointment on Monday afternoon. The staff and Dr. Yamini were courteous and straightforward - even with new patient paperwork I was out the door within an hour!

Bill C.

Dr. Yamini definitely is a great doctor who is very thorough and detail oriented with his diagnosis. He is very passionate about what he does and was able to answer any question or concern. He took his time before my appointment to look through all the documentation to know exactly what was going on. He definitely was able to put me at ease even though I was very worried. I am very satisfied with his services. Thanks!

Mario O.

He was very gentle about my situation yet did not fail to emphasize about the seriousness that could arise from gastrointestinal problems. Few and far between are as professional and caring as Dr. Yamini and his staff. I was 20 minutes late on Friday evening & they still had me in a room in 5 minutes as a new patient.

Lisa P.

I can’t say enough great things about my first impression of this doctor and his amazing staff! They got me right in and set me up for everything needed. I’ve been looking for the right GI doctor for years having had a very negative experience with another doctor years ago. Dr. Yamini is not only professional, knowledgeable, respectful, and experienced... this guy is “cool” and nice too! His front desk person, Toni was amazing! She was kind, bright, efficient, patient, and positive! ??

Kendall S.

Makes talking about uncomfortable subjects a breeze. Competent and honest: doesn't sell vitamin cleanses and his own probiotics or anything like that. Makes sure your symptoms aren't half-fixed but fully fixed. Gets to the heart of the issue quickly. Good listener. Very sweet receptionist. I hate receiving many phone calls, and she's persistent about making sure you set up an appointment; it was stressing me out. I found the her much easier to connect with once she gave me her cell and said to text.

Babak E.

Thank you Dr. Yamini and Tony. When it comes to patient care and professionalism, I have never received this much care and attention from a physician and the staff. I was able to talk to Dr. Yamini for good period of time allowing me to ask all my questions. Tony you are so cute thank you for scheduling me in last minute.

Kyle K.

I highly recommend Dr. Yamini. He's very personable and actually listens to your issues and concerns, then recommends a reasonable course of action. He was able to properly diagnose my symptoms and get me healthy again. Also his admin Toni is great too, she will help select a facility and verify that your insurance will fully cover. She's really nice and trustworthy as well!

Eric W.

Thorough doctor who cares about his patients, and very meticulous about the details of your ailment. Clearly very knowledgeable and skilled. No wait time for appointments, and the nurse (Toni) is very friendly and follows up appropriately. One of the best doctor experiences I've had and I'd recommend it to anyone.

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