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Quote Guests 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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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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Quote Guests 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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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 25 Apr 2019 at 3:49pm
Hi, so thought I’d put an update. Hubby had his meeting with the surgeon, who has agreed to give GA to get the biopsies done. Unfortunately though, the pre-op will be in June, then the surgery will be done no later than September. I can’t believe the length of time this process is taking, all with “probable Barrett’s” hanging in the air. From the initial referral from the GP to getting his results, it could be 10 months from start to finish. And that’s only for diagnosis. Very unsettled times.
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 8:05pm
Hi all. So my husband had a preassessment last month and got an appointment last week (NHS). It went well. Didnt get told anything on the day about what the surgeon saw, and he didn’t have any post op complications. He got a call today from the doctors surgery saying that everything was clear. He asked about Barrett’s and was told nothing has been noted about Barrett’s on the surgeons notes. Obviously we are delighted with this news, he does have an appointment with his doctor next week to discuss results further (was booked after scope last week) - he is still going for this appointment even after the call as 1) does it seem to early for biopsy results, perhaps this was just outcome of scope? 2) he is on ranitidine and another tablets 2 twice a day, if he misses a tablet he is up all night with reflux, surely this should mean there is something not right 3) the wrote “probable Barrett’s on the results from the failed scope - why? Is this just because of the hiatus hernia, am I right in saying u can’t see Barrett’s?
So many unanswered questions, but for now, we will take the good news.
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 7:55am
The good news is, he's had his scope and biopsies were taken. They didn't see cancer which would have been obvious. You'll need to wait for results from biospies, which can take weeks, for a definitive answer regarding whether he has Barrett's or not, but the endoscopist would normally have recognised it if there.

At least they now have a better understanding of what's going on and a treatment regimen may be planned.
The acid suppressant medication he is on will reduce acid but not reflux which needs to be managed by lifestyle modification or surgery.
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 9:13am
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time, and your opinion. It has been such a great relief for my husband, however as I’ve been online researching it all, I felt he was maybe acting too soon, so wanted to see what you thought, as I was sure I had read on here/the Facebook page that we need the biopsy results. We will take this positive news for now, and hopefully the biopsy results will be back very soon.
It has definitely acted as a warning sign for our young family!
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 2:11pm
Hi Chris.

So we met my husbands GP yesterday. It seems that when the surgeon went in, they decided not to take the biopsy as the area was normal. The doctor printed off the letter which states my husband “clearly does not have barretts”. There is also no mention of the hiatus hernia, which the doctor is going to contact them regarding as the failed scope by the nurse with no ga stated a sliding hernia (and probable Barrett’s) so the doctor has advised us to go by the surgeons “all clear” readings instead of the nurses readings from the failed scope (failed as it didn’t get down far enough to look past throat).
This is fantastic news...isn’t it?
The doctor is happy to keep going with the lansporazole and ranitidine for now, and leaving it with us for hubby to make lifestyle changes with the plan that he loses weight which should result in reducing meds.
Can you tell me your thoughts, I really do appreciate and welcome your opinion on this situation.
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 21 Jul 2019 at 10:47am
That really sounds good news.
The acid suppressants will help keep oesophagitis at bay (and, hence, Barrett's). Losing weight, if necessary, is probably the single most helpful thing refluxers can do to help themselves.
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