Barrett's oesophagus is a precancerous condition affecting the lining of the oesophagus , the muscular tube that carries food, liquids and saliva from the mouth to the stomach. Normally, the oesophagus is lined by a layer of short, squat cells, called squamous cells. This lining is similar to skin in that it is multilayered and protects the underlying oesophagus from injury resulting from swallowed food and reflux of gastric contents. When chronic gastric reflux occurs and exposes the lining of the oesophagus to acid, this lining can be injured and break down.
Patients diagnosed with Barrett's oesophagus are treated for GORD symptoms and advised to return at scheduled intervals ranging from every three months to every three years for a repeat endoscopy and tissue inspection. This "watch and wait" approach is called surveillance. The objective of surveillance is to monitor for the progression of the disease.