Barrett's oesophagus is one of the most common pre-malignant lesions in the world. Currently the mainstay of therapy is surgical management of advanced cancer but this has improved the five-year survival very little since the 1980s. As a consequence, improved survival relies on early detection through endoscopic surveillance programmes. Success of this strategy relies on the fact that late-stage pre-malignant lesions or very early cancers can be cured by intervention. Currently there is considerable controversy over which method is best: that is conventional open surgery or endotherapy (techniques involving endoscopy).