How often do I need an endoscopy if I have intestinal metaplasia?

A Answers (1)

  • AJohn Linn, MD, General Surgery, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem

    Intestinal metaplasia, or Barrett's esophagus, is a condition where the lining of the esophagus becomes damaged from exposure to acid from the stomach. This usually occurs in the setting of heartburn and acid reflux commonly known as GERD.

    Intestinal metaplasia is usually treated with medications that reduce the amount of acid that contacts the esophagus. However, newer treatments such as radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, may be able to treat the problem completely. The procedure is called Barrx and is performed during an upper endoscopy by a specialist.

    In addition to this treatment, patients with Barrett's metaplasia should undergo endoscopy once a year to monitor for progression or worsening of the metaplasia. A small percentage of patients with metaplasia can develop cancer of the esophagus, so it's very important to monitor and treat.

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What is Barrett's esophagus?