About GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Acid reflux, commonly called heartburn, can become chronic. This is called GERD. It is treatable, but increases the risk of developing Barrett's esophagus.
More on symptoms and causes from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition that arises in the lining of the esophagus. Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at increased risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus are, in turn, at increased risk for developing adenocarcinoma, the most common cancer of the esophagus.

Until recently, the best way to care for patients with Barrett’s esophagus without cancer was to simply monitor patients with periodic endoscopy. In the event that cancer or worrisome changes were seen, the patient was referred for surgery. However, Fox Chase now has advanced treatments performed through the endoscope which can, in many cases, prevent the development of cancer and the need for surgery.

Gastroenterologists at Fox Chase believe the care of patients with Barrett’s esophagus must be individualized. At Fox Chase, our philosophy is to provide compassionate care based on a thorough, personalized assessment of the patient’s condition, taking into account the patient’s overall medical history, individual needs, and a careful analysis of the biopsy specimen.

We welcome the opportunity to provide second opinions to patients with complex conditions who may require specialty care.