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Will Surgery Improve Barrett’s Esophagus?

Few studies have addressed this question. Historically, in the medical literature, it was felt that surgery did not improve Barrett’s esophagus. However, some recent small studies suggest that a slight improvement in Barrett’s esophagus may occur after anti-reflux surgery. Overall, the current recommendation is that antireflux surgery is not effective treatment for Barrett’s esophagus.

Will surgery decrease my risk of getting Barrett’s-associated esophageal cancer?

There really is no data in the medical literature to answer this question. Of all patients with chronic acid reflux, 10% have Barrett’s esophagus, and the risk of getting esophageal cancer with Barrett’s is 0.5% per year (in other words, if 2000 people have acid reflux, 1 person per year will get esophageal cancer). Really, the risk of getting cancer with chronic acid reflux is low but is increased compared to those without acid reflux. For example, of those 2000 people previously mentioned, 80 will get colorectal cancer and 100 women will get breast cancer. Cancer risks need to be kept in perspective. So, the short answer is anti-reflux surgery will not decrease your risk of getting cancer associated with acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus.

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

Will Surgery Improve Barrett’s Esophagus? References