Barrett's esophagus

An overview of Providence Health Care's services and resources for adults living with Barrett’s esophagus.


Barrett’s esophagus is when acid reflux damages the tissue of your esophagus. Over time, the tissue of your esophagus begins to change and thicken.

There is no known cause of Barrett’s esophagus. Chronic acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) can increase your risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus.

Sometimes, people with Barrett’s esophagus develop esophageal cancer. If you are diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, it is important to get routinely screened.



Pacific Gastroenterology Associates
770 – 1190 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2K5

Diagnosis & testing

If you are diagnosed with GERD or you have a family history of esophageal cancer, you should talk to your health care provider at Providence Health Care (PHC). You may need to get screened for Barrett’s esophagus.

To diagnose Barrett’s esophagus, we perform an upper endoscopy. We insert a thin, flexible tube with a camera through your throat into your esophagus. We look at the camera images on a computer monitor.

If we find any irregular tissue, we perform a biopsy to remove a small amount of tissue from your esophagus. A pathologist examines this tissue sample during a laboratory test.

Treatment & management

Your treatment plan will depend on if we find precancerous cells in your biopsy.

Support services

Providence offers a variety of services to support those we care for. The following services may be of use or benefit to you and your families.

Support for Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Wellness Liaison Team is here to support your health journey. Team members offer cultural support and healthcare advocacy. Learn more below or call them at 604-682-2344,62937 or email

  • Indigenous wellness services

    The Indigenous Wellness Team at Providence is available to support Indigenous patients and their families. We are here to coordinate culturally safe wellness supports and services.

Education & resources

Clinical trials & research

Advances in Barrett’s esophagus treatments are all thanks to medical research. While participating in research is a decision you should make for yourself in consultation with your care team, there is much activity in this area so please ask us about our research programs if you’re interested.

By taking part in research, you can help us all learn more about Barrett’s esophagus and find better ways to help people like you live and thrive with the condition. While you cannot assume benefit to yourself, your participation can make a difference in improving care for future patients.

The following clinical trials are currently enrolling volunteers. Please ask your care team for more information or contact the research team listed on each study or trial. For other information about research at Providence Health Care, please visit Providence Research.

News & stories