Barrett's esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, states WebMD. The condition occurs when the tissue in the esophagus begins to appear similar to the tissue within the intestines.
Barrett's esophagus is an asymptomatic condition that generally only affects 10 percent of patients who experience chronic symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, states WebMD. Patients who have this condition are at a higher risk for developing esophageal cancer as they grow older. For this reason, patients who are diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus must have routine exams of their esophagus and upper digestive system to discover any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells early.