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Is there a Way to Heal Barrett’s Esophagus?

No. There is some debate in the literature whether Barrett’s will regress, shrink, or go away with aggressive antacid treatment or with surgery for acid reflux. But the information is mixed; some doctors feel that regular use of antacid drugs such as proton pump inhibitors may decrease the amount of Barrett’s lining the esophagus. It has been clearly demonstrated that the more of the esophagus lined by Barrett’s, the greater the cancer risk.

Surgery for acid reflux does not improve Barrett’s once it has developed. Most patients with Barrett’s have heartburn so daily or twice daily doses of proton pump inhibitors is appropriate. Such treatment may limit progression of Barrett’s, but the data in the literature to support this are not conclusive. The disadvantages of this approach are drug cost and the requirement of taking regular medication. This class of medications is generally considered safe to take long term and has few side effects.

Endoscopic studies that look at different ways to treat Barrett’s are under way. There are techniques using various tools to cauterize, burn off, or ablate Barrett’s, but as of yet it is unclear whether these work or reduce cancer risk.

Is there a Way to Heal Barrett’s Esophagus? References

By Mortin - Copyright 2009
Last modification 31/12/2009