Patient Comments: Barrett's Esophagus - Experience

Please describe your experience with barrett's esophagus.

Comment from: Barbaraws1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

In December, I was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus. I had a mastectomy in January and reconstruction. I was not feeling very well and my doctor was out of town. I then went and saw the P.A. and as he walked out the door and was closing it he said, "Finally, got to see somebody who is not sick today." I was his second patient. A few days later I went and spoke with our small town surgeon. He wanted to do an upper and lower series. I agreed. The pathology report came back with Barrett's esophagus. I had no heartburn to speak of and he was very surprised. I just went to see my new Oncologist yesterday. He advised me that I was very lucky to have a surgeon who did the biopsy after seeing tissue changes, I agreed. I am still learning about this disease. I am a 52 year old woman. I have a 17 year old daughter. I am treated with medication; however, I am now having more symptoms. I don't know what the future holds, however, I just wanted to write this to let everybody know that only you know what is going on with your body and if you hear a remark like the one I did, please see another doctor. This doctor may have saved my life or he at least, found out what was bothering me and got me on the medication and ordered a PET Scan that was like 3 years over due.

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Comment from: rgb, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I just got a diagnosis of Barrett's Esophagus today. I had an EGD done on Friday and they put me on proton inhibitors which have helped. I had been sick for months with vomiting and it finally got to the point I could not keep anything down and I lost 10 pounds in a week. I am very upset that my insurance company will not cover my medication. They will cover it if I were to be diagnosed with esophageal cancer, but not now. I think it is a real shame that an insurance company will let you progress to cancer before they will pay for your medicine. I can't go on without the medicine so I will pay over a hundred a month for the medicine. Today is a sad day for me.

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Comment from: Chris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

Last February in 2008, I had a feeling of a lump in my throat, so I went to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor and was diagnosed with GERD. After taking various proton pump inhibitors for several months and still feeling the lump in my throat with no changes, I was referred to a gastroenterologist for further diagnosis. He performed an upper endoscopy that showed that I have Barrett's esophagus. This was a surprise as I had never even known that I had a problem with acid reflux, let alone Barrett's esophagus. There were no symptoms until I felt the lump in my throat! I have a normal/thin weight, exercise and eat very healthy, so I have questions as to why I have this disease. Now I will be taking Protonix two times a day as well as calcium and will have another endoscopy in a year to monitor my condition. Since this was found early, it can be monitored and hopefully controlled over the years.

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Comment from: Anne P, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I was diagnosed with Barrett's with high grade dysplasia in '05 and had immediate surgery with a partial Gastro-Esophagectomy. I had six inches of my esophagus removed. Post-op recovery was extremely difficult. I am an RN so felt I knew somewhat what to expect. I lost 40 lbs (I have regained 10) and eating is still problematic, to say the least. I must sleep practically upright. I eat small meals frequently and generally stick to fairly low fat, minimal alcohol diet. I take Prevacid 30 mg in morning and Zantac 150 mg at bedtime. I only hope the surgery was absolutely necessary and that all will be OK for the future.

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Comment from: judgerms, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 20

I have severe GERD that was first diagnosed in October 2008. I underwent twice daily treatment with Nexium and had a follow up scope in February 2009. I was diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus. My doctor recommends the ablation therapy. My reflux is pretty much under control. I still take Nexium once a day (I have lost more than 100 pounds, quit drinking alcohol, try not to eat late at night, etc). I am concerned that this article seems to recommend that the ablation only be performed by a study group. I have the procedure scheduled in December.

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Comment from: croakrz1@aol.com, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 07

I just yesterday had my second in 5 yrs. - endoscopy and colonoscopy. I was diagnosed with hiatus hernia and z-line or barrets. I'm 58. Although I've lived in agony for over 9 yrs., most of the doctors I've seen were concerned, honest and helpful. From what I've been reading on this site, I read repeatedly about, mostly insurers and some doctors, dropping the ball or the paitent. I thought I had it bad with no insurance at all, and going to a clinic run by the University of Florida. Thank God for them.

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