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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Barrett's oesophagus diagnosis with no biopsy

    I was "diagnosed" with short Barrett's Oesophagus in 2015 without a biopsy. Is this even possible as it has come to my attention a biopsy is usually done to confirm it? Also I now have trouble swallowing food - is this normal for people with silent reflux?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Jason Wong

    Bariatric (Obesity) Surgeon, General Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    Jason Wong is a skilled Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon with expertise in sleeve and gastric bypass surgery, gallbladder, hernia, endoscopic pilonidal, antireflux and emergency general … View Profile

    Barrett's Oesophagus often has a typical appearance and experience endoscopists can usually tell if Barrett's metaplasia is present, and the suspicion results in biopsies being taken to confirm the diagnosis.

    Barrett's is usually asymptomatic because the oesophageal lining has become "acid resistant".  There may be other reasons for the swallowing difficulty, but it should not be "normal" for someone with silent reflux.

    I would recommend a repeat gastroscopy to assess, and for biopsies to be taken.  Assessment for any narrowings or scarring of the oesophagus, hiatus hernia, eosinophilic oesophagitis can be performed.

    I would recommend getting your GP to refer you to an Upper GI surgeon and endoscopist or gastroenterologist for history taking, examination and endoscopic evaluation.

    Dr Jason Wong

    Laparoscopic Gastrointestinal Surgeon and Endoscopist

    Brisbane 4053

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