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WorriedWife1983
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Quote WorriedWife1983 Replybullet Topic: New Around Here...Worried Wife
    Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 9:06am
Hi all. My husband, 35yo, has always had heartburn and migraines, we met when we were teenagers and I remembered he suffered then, although didn’t need medication. Fast forward to now, he got referred for a ct scan and gastroscopy last month due to migraines worsening ie vomiting and having to sleep for hours for them to lift, and his heartburn getting worse even though on ranitidine. The ct scan came back “normal” however the gastroscopy was botched tbh - he had requested the sedative as he struggles to take tablets at the best of time so knew this would be a challenge. They got him up on the bed and the nurse said “where is your cannula” they had forgotten to give him the sedative before hand, so quickly put it in, mouth piece and went in. No numbing spray. He ended up pulling the cord out his mouth. On the drive home he was out of it - it had been too rushed. Anyway, they gave him a sheet of paper away saying he has “a hiatus hernia and probable Barrett’s”. No chat, just the paper. Obviously we googled Barrett’s as we had never heard of it. This was a month ago and I have been a wreck since. We have a 5yo and my husband is our world. He has had a letter saying an appointment will be made with the surgeon to discuss how to move forward ie get GA to get biopsies and have a look further down, however have been advised the normal wait time for an appointment is 6 months although he has been fast tracked so should be more like 3 months. This is only for the discussion though. We are 1 month gone and heard nothing. It is driving me absolutely crazy, I’m struggling to hold things together the longer the wait goes on. I did look into going private for the gastroscopy but it was £2000 for the sedative procedure alone.
I’m hear to learn more about Barrett’s and to find some hope. Google really is the enemy.
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 16 Mar 2019 at 9:51am
Hi and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear of your husband's plight and fully understand what you are going through.
Barrett's is a condition few have heard of but is actually far more common than people realise. It is estimated there may be 3 million of us with it in UK but only about 100,000 know of it.
As you say, Google can be an enemy in this respect which is why the Barrett's UK directory site has been established to provide links to the slowly developing network of support groups and to all reliable sources of information.

You are not alone in being anxious. Far too many scaremongerers may be causing more harm than good. (See this page from the Down With Acid encyclopaeida) Let's put things in perspective.

Barrett's is a permanent addition of columnar cells, like armour plating, to the lower oesophagus to reduce erosion from acid refluxing from the stomach. However, there is a very small risk (about 1 in 400 each year) it can mutate to cancer which is why we need to diagnose and keep an eye on it. It can only be definitively diagnosed from biopsies taken during endoscopy - so hopefully proper sedation will be given next time.
Normal management is with daily medication (called Proton Pump Inhibitors - eg omeprazole), which has been shown to reduce risk of mutation, and regular surveillance scoping every few years. If progression towards cancer is ever seen, it can be ablated to obviate that risk.


Barrett's Wessex charity has produced a free, fully researched and referenced encyclopaedia, Down With Acid, about acid reflux, complications and management with its own website, www.downwithacid.org.uk, from where a (large) pdf file may be downloaded or if you'd like us to send you a printed copy, please private message me or email chris@chrisrob.co.uk.
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WorriedWife1983
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Quote WorriedWife1983 Replybullet Posted: 16 Mar 2019 at 9:04pm
Thanks for your reply Chris.

He got his follow up “discussion” appointment through today for the end of April - hopefully at that point we will get a date for the biopsies to be taken - I keep telling myself it is only “probable” Barrett’s at the moment, but I think with him having suffered from heartburn and reflux for such a long time, it is highly likely. Just keeping my fingers crossed it is “only” Barrett’s. I go through cycles of being calm but mostly I’m a wreck over it.
I will check back in after his next appointment.
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