Expert Diagnosis is Key!

Comprehensive evaluation with accurate diagnosis is the foundation for achieving highly successful outcomes. That’s why it’s important to seek care from an academic-level center that provides a multidisciplinary, specialized team of gastroesophageal experts experienced in the accurate diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus, as well as other complex gastroesophageal conditions.

Hoag’s state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies provide our team with the latest modalities in the accurate diagnosis of gastroesophageal disorders. In order to determine if you have Barrett’s esophagus, your physician may require you to undergo one or more important tests, such as:

  • Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows a physician to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (part of the small intestine). During an upper endoscopy, a thin, lighted tube called an endoscope is carefully guided down the esophagus. The endoscope transmits a high definition image to a monitor, so the physician can view the lining of these organs. Many times, a sample of tissue is obtained during this procedure for biopsy.
  • ​Biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue, or cells, so that they can be examined by a pathologist. Biopsies are a definitive means to determine whether or not a tissue sample is abnormal, because rather than relying on visible clues via endoscopy alone, a biopsy is able to reveal microscopic evidence if changes to cells (called dysplasia) have occurred.

Determining the Degree of Dysplasia

Once a tissue sample is obtained, the pathologist reviews it and determines the degree of changes (dysplasia) in the cells. The type of dysplasia detected in the esophageal tissue determines the best course of treatment for the individual patient.

Grades of dysplasia include:

  • No dysplasia means no changes were found in the esophageal cells at this time.
  • Low-grade dysplasia means the esophageal cells show small signs of changes taking place.
  • High-grade dysplasia means the esophageal cells show many changes are occurring. High-grade dysplasia is considered the final step before cells change into esophageal cancer.

The Hoag-USC gastroesophageal program benefits from having a world-renowned expert pathologist in reflux disease and Barrett’s esophagus as part of its multidisciplinary team. Due to the challenges in interpreting cases of Barrett’s esophagus, especially with dysplasia, tissue samples from around the country are sent to the team for review and diagnosis.

Expert Care You Can Trust!

The Hoag Digestive Disease Center, in alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, continues to lead the way in complex gastroesophageal care, providing access to a highly specialized surgical team that works collaboratively with Hoag-affiliated gastroenterologists and medical oncology specialists to provide academic-level care. Hoag’s committed to accurate diagnosis, combined with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.​

To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion consultation with a Hoag gastroesophageal expert, visit Meet the Team, or call us at: 877-775-0604.