What is Barrett’s Esophagus Dysplasia?

Barretts dysplasia is a condition in which the cells in the esophagus lining show cancerous properties. The dysplasia ranges from low grade to high grade according to the damage seen in the esophagus.

Cells in the esophagus that come under high grade dysplasia have a higher chance of turning into cancerous cells. On the other hand, low grade dysplasia cells are not cancerous but can take form of the same if not treated in time. Also note when Barrett’s esophagus or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is present, the chances that the patient will suffer from dysplasia and then cancer are very low. In majority of Barrett’s esophagus cases, the changes in cells remain constant. According to research studies the chances of a person developing esophagus cancer after being diagnosed with Barrett’s disease are 1 in 20 for men and 1 in 33 for women.

Understand the Food Pipe (Esophagus) and Stomach

When we eat, the food passes down the stomach through esophagus. There are various cells present in the lining of the stomach that produce necessary chemicals to help digest food. There is a circular band of muscle between the esophagus and stomach known as sphincter. Sphincter relaxes to allow food down and contracts to prevent food and acid from leaking back up to the esophagus.

It is when the contraction does not happen properly that a person starts experiencing heart burn or acid reflux, which over time can takes the form of Barrett’s esophagus. Improper functioning of sphincter can also lead to stomach ulcer and other problems.

Understanding Barrett’s Dysplasia Reports

Biopsy needs to be done for proper examination of the patient diagnosed with Barrett’s disease. After this test, the samples are sent to a pathologist for further analysis. The pathologist then sends your report to the doctor giving detailed information about every sample sent. This information is crucial for deciding your treatment plan. Barrett’s Dysplasia is a serious condition and so one should not miss any medical tests if he or she has been diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus and doctor has recommended him or her some further tests.

Low Grade and High Grade Dysplasia

If the cells in esophagus show a higher degree of abnormality, condition can be quite serious. Your biopsy report will reveal if you have higher degree Barrett’s dysplasia or not. Having higher degree dysplasia means that cancer cells are already present in the esophagus. To confirm the spread of these cells, your doctor may call you again for a few tests. Low grade dysplasia, on the other hand, does not indicate any cancer formation.

The Possible Treatments for the Barrett’s Dysplasia are…

Low grade dysplasia can go away by treating the reflux problem. Frequent endoscopy and biopsies are done to monitor the progress. If dysplasia goes away by following this method, no other treatment is needed.

In some cases, where the abnormality is very high in the cells, doctors also recommend removal of the abdominal area (usually the area of barrett’s esophagus and dysplasia) to prevent the situation from worsening. Patients should always talk to the doctor about all the possible treatment options available and success rate and after-effects of each.

Acid reflux is quite common among people these days because of unhealthy eating habits. As much as possible, follow a healthy diet and living lifestyle to avoid stomach related issues, like GERD, stomach pain, or stomach muscle spasm. While not very serious on their own, these conditions can lead to development of a life-threatening condition.