2016-06-08 13:10:37 UTC

Barrett's Esophagus 103: Getting Tested

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The only way to find out if you have Barrett’s esophagus is with an endoscopy and a biopsy to look at the tissue of your esophagus (the tube that links your mouth and stomach) under a microscope. 

Barrett’s esophagus can be hard to find, since it may not be in all the tissue in your esophagus. Because of this, the GI doing your endoscopy will take tissue samples (biopsies) from any areas of your esophagus that don’t look right. 



  • An endoscopy is done to get small pieces of tissue (biopsies) from your esophagus (the tube that links your mouth and stomach) to see if the cells have changed. 
  • You will be given medicine to block pain and make you feel sleepy, so you won’t feel much during the test.
  • During the endoscopy, your gastroenterologist will use a long, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube that has a tiny camera on the end. 
  • After the test, a pathologist (a doctor who studies tissue) will look at the tissue in a lab to find out if Barrett’s esophagus cells are there.
  • To learn more about endoscopy, visit gastro.org/patient-care.

©AGA, July 2016

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