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Barretts or not?
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Barretts or not?

I had my first endoscopy two years ago and my GI suspected Barretts esophagus but the biopsies were negative.  He had me return in a year and the same thing - suspected Barretts,  negative biopsies, return in a year.  So I went for a third time last week and the sme thing happened -- my GI was sure I had Barretts but the biopsies were negative.   He now wants me to return again in a year.

I do have occasional heartburn because I take a lot of ibuprofen for my back, but no big deal.  Do I need to keep going for these?  They stress me out.
8 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
aare you being treated with a PPI for your heartburn?  Have you had a long history of heartburn?  Just wondering what makes him keep suspecting barrett's----do your biopsies show severe damage from reflux?
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329165_tn?1412685860
If you have had negative biopsies but GI can see Barrets during Endoscopy, it might just mean that the cells that were taken during the biopsies were not Barrets cells as then it is possible for Pathologists to miss this.

The protocol for Barrets surveillance (no dysplasia) is every 3 years.  Only once there are signs of dysplasia (cancer stages) then you need to go for annual scopes and then it increases to 6 monthly if there are activity.

Every Endoscopy carries a risk and should not be done if it is not necessary.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the first one because I had some unexplained bleeding which turned out never to be resolved but didn't recur.  GI said it looked like Barretts so he had me come back the following two years.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you...I certainly didn't ask to go back, he just told me to come back because he didn't like what he saw and he wanted to make sure it didn't change.   I would think with negative biopsies for three scopes that should be enough, but GI says return in a year.
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Avatar_n_tn
are your biopsies positive for esophagitis?  have you considered seeing a different GI?
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As far as I know my biopsies have been negative for anything...but I haven't actually seen them.  I really like my GI, why would you suggest a different one out of curiosity?
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63984_tn?1385441539
I'm not a health professional so do take my post with a grain of salt, but I'm wondering if there is some confusion between Barrett's Esophagus and an active cancer.
Barrett's Esophagus is seen as a change in the cells of the esophagus, as I understand it the cells start to LOOK like the cells lower in the digestive system.  They are pre-cancerous, meaning that the esophagus COULD develop cancer, and does so in about 4% of people who present with this symptom during an Endoscopy.  A biopsie would confirm that Barrett's Esophagus did turn into an active cancer.  
I have Barrett's Esophagus and had successful surgery to stop the advancement of the condition, but have yearly Endoscopies to see if the condition is advancing (it's retreating).  
I'd not worry about cancer, but would concern myself with controlling the cause of acid reflux so you don't develop cancer.  Hope that helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
If your biopsies are negative for anything--then your doctor is really jumping the gun to think you have barrett's and wanting to scope you every year.

You have to have some pretty severe reflux esophagitis before you are going to get barrett's.

Ask your doctor for the pathology reports and for the surgical report and see for your self what they really say.  He may be putting you through unnecessary procedures for no good reason.  You really don't want unnecessary surgical procedures if there is a good reason to warrant them.

Does he have you on a PPI such as prevacid or protonix?
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