Learn About Ulcers, and if Surgery is Right for You.
If you have a break in your stomach’s tissue lining, miVIP provides treatment surgical methods*.
Ulcers are breaks or holes that are found in the membranous protective lining of an organ. While they are relatively common and simple to treat in many instances, ulcers can cause serious discomfort and disrupt life.
What are the types of ulcers?
Peptic ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, refer to sores found in the digestive system. Peptic ulcers are quite common, and statistics show that approximately 1 in 10 Americans will suffer from them at some point in their life. They are often located in the most upper section of the small intestine (duodenum). Ulcers can also be found in the stomach and the esophagus.
What are the common causes and symptoms of ulcers?
Known causes for ulcers include:
- Excessive stomach acid
- Overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium. H. pylori contributes to 90% of all duodenal ulcers, and approximately 80% of stomach ulcers.
Common symptoms of ulcers include:
- Burning in the upper abdominal area
- Bloody, tarry or black stools
- Nausea or vomiting
What ulcer treatments are available?
While treatment options vary according to the apparent cause, in many cases an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is performed. This procedure treats the bleed through cauterization, clipping the bleed site or injecting it with chemicals.
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Following the EGD, treatment options are based on the cause:
- Ulcers due to H. pylori – The bacterium is usually treated with a triple therapy containing two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. Eliminating H. pylori helps treat more than 90% of patients.
- Ulcers due to NSAIDs use – Immediately stopping the use of NSAIDs is critical. Doctors will often treat the excessive acid with acid relief pills. Approximately two months later, up to 90% of all patients are healed.
- Ulcers due to other causes – In many cases, no longer eating food that increases stomach acids can help treat the problem. Minimizing alcohol intake, stopping smoking, sleeping at an incline and eating small meals regularly have all been known to help.