Long term smoking weakens the muscular ring that keeps the (backflow preventer) valve closed between your stomach and your esophagus.
Almost 2 years ago, I had an esophageal bleed out on a 4 day weekend and could have died. It was from years of untreated reflux cause by smoking.
It was determined in May of 2012 that I had Barrett's Esophagus which is where the cells in your esophagus turn into columnar cells (like your intestine) instead of flat smooth ones and, along with high grade displasia, you are well on your way to esophageal cancer.
I was told that watching and waiting was the standard procedure although, I was ordered to have an esophageal ultrasound to determine what was below the inner surface of the esophagus back in May 2012..
So they've had me come in for an endoscopy a number of times since May 2012. They knock you out and take a look and do biopsies.
Finally, in Dec of 2013, I had the esophageal ultrasound and now they've changed their tune and decided it would be better to burn out the lining of the esophagus in about 4 treatments 4 months apart.
Since it is 50 miles each way and they have all the records and actual video of the ultrasound, I couldn't see why I would have to meet with another Dr. for 10 minutes since nothing would be accomplished by doing so.
Well, I got my way. LOL
BUT, BUT, BUT
I have to have a separate office visit with the anesthesiologist before the procedure. (50 miles each way and 4 hours for a 10 minute visit) I've been anesthetized for 4 procedures and NEVER had to meet with the anesthesiologist beforehand.
YOU CAN'T WIN!
You may as well quit smoking.
If it doesn't get you, the system will.