When Heartburn May be More Than Just Heartburn


Dr. Blanco Many people experience heartburn from time to time. In most cases, it is temporary discomfort treatable by an over-the-counter antacid. However, if heartburn becomes more frequent, occurring more than twice a week, you may need medical attention.

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, which occurs when acid from the stomach splashes into the more sensitive lining of the esophagus. Heartburn may progress to:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Esophageal Cancer

If your heartburn progresses to Barrett’s Esophagus, your doctor may order an upper endoscopy with biopsy. Since precancerous cells in the esophagus do not look any different than normal cells, these samples are taken from random locations that cover only about 3% of the esophagus.

However, a new technique, called biopsy brush procedure, utilizes a brush to sweep a much larger area yielding tissue samples 50 times thicker. 3D computer images are rendered providing critical diagnostic information to identify potentially abnormal cells.

Dr. Felix Blanco is one of the first surgeons in the area to use this innovative, new technology to significantly increase the detection of esophageal precancerous cells and begin potentially life-saving treatment much earlier.


  1. Will Henss says:

    Thank you for sharing this informative post! Not all people are aware that heartburn could lead to a more serious problem like Barrett’s Esophagus. At least through this post, more people can become more conscious every time they feel a tingling sensation in the chest area. They will become more conscious that heartburn they are experiencing may not just a simple one but something that needs to get checked by healthcare professionals.

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