a disorder in which the lining of the oesophagus undergoes cellular changes in response to chronic irritation and inflammation of reflux oesophagitis. This condition is more common in men than women. The patient with barretts oesophagus is at an increased risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus.
symptoms are similar to those of reflux oesophagitis and include heartburn, difficulty swallowing and pain relief with antiacid use or eating. The diagnosis of Barrett's is made by a biopsy of the oesophageal mucosa through a endoscope.
treatment includes control of reflux disease, weight reduction and avoidance of alcohol, tobacco, fatty foods and lying flat after eating. Close follow-up is recommended to be certain the individual does not develop cancer of the oesophagus.