March 20, 2015
It is widely known that colonoscopy not only detects colon cancers but enables the removal of pre-cancerous polyps. Large polyps are sometimes detected during a colonoscopy that the physician feels are too large to safely remove by standard polypectomy techniques. Many patients with large benign polyps are sent for surgery because their physicians feel they cannot remove them through the colonoscope.
February 22, 2013
Many people wonder what the treatment for Barrett's Esophagus (BE) is. Treatment for BE without dysplasia consists primarily of controlling esophageal acid exposure, usually with once a day proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications like omeprazole (Prilosec®). Occasionally, twice a day dosing or even anti-reflux surgery may be necessary to completely control acid reflux. Unfortunately, suppressing acid does not usually cause the Barrett’s tissue to regress or even prevent it from progressing to cancer.
If dysplasia is found on any biopsies, treatment recommendations change:
- Low-grade dysplasia: Close surveillance with endoscopy every 6-12 months or ablation.
- High-grade dysplasia: Endoscopic therapy to destroy Barrett’s tissue or surgery.
- Early cancer<...
February 04, 2013
Heartburn (which was once considered an annoying result of over-eating) has matured into a full-blown medical condition better known as gastro-esophageal reflux or GERD.
GERD, or the sensation of acid or other gastric fluids washing up into the chest or mouth, affects as many as 1 in 5 adults in the US on a monthly basis with up to 6% experiencing symptoms 2 or more times per week. Estimates suggest that about 5% of those who suffer from reflux will develop a potentially pre-malignant condition called Barrett’s esophagus (BE). Named after the British thoracic surgeon who erroneously suggested the condition resulted from a congenitally short esophagus, BE is characterized by “specialized intestinal lining” replacing normal squamous epithelium (ie, wet skin, like the lining of the mouth) in the lower esophagus in response to long-term, repetitive expos...