Blood test or breath test—to check for
A blood test can also check for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
<![CDATA]>Upper GI series<![CDATA]>
—a series of x-rays of the upper digestive system taken after drinking a barium solution
Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat to look inside the digestive tract
Obtain tissue samples to test for
infection or for cancer
Eliminate other serious causes of gastrointestinal symptoms
The goal is to remove the source of the problem and heal the ulcer. Gastric ulcers may take longer to heal.
Some medications block or reduce acid production. Some coat the ulcer to protect it. If
caused the ulcer, you will need to take a combination of drugs to kill the bacteria. This usually consists of antibiotics and a proton-pump inhibitor. It is very important to take these drugs as directed. The doctor may order tests 6-12 months after treatment. This is done to check that the bacteria are gone.
Medications may include:
Antacids—may provide some relief from
; do not heal ulcers
You may need surgery if you have bleeding, a perforation, or an obstruction. Surgical options include:
Highly elective vagotomy—This is a technique that cuts only part of the vagus nerve. This surgery does not require extra drainage.
Vagotomy with antrectomy—This involves cutting the vagus nerve combined with removing the lower part of the stomach (antrum). The antrum makes a chemical that promotes acid production. Without that chemical, acid production drops.
This may be done to stop bleeding. A thin, lighted tube is inserted down the throat into the stomach or intestine. Then, heat, electricity, epinephrine, or a substance called “fibrin glue” can be applied to the area. This should stop the blood flow.
Vagotomy and Drainage
Vagotomy is the cutting of parts of the vagus nerve. This procedure can greatly reduce acid production. Cutting the entire nerve can also create problems with stomach. In this case, drainage must be created. Drainage may be done with one of the following:
—widening the opening between the stomach and the duodenum, allowing stomach contents to flow more easily into the intestine
Gastroduodenostomy—creating a new
opening to connect the stomach and the duodenum
Gastrojejunostomy—creating a new
opening to connect the stomach and the jejunum (the second part of the small intestine)
Two other forms of vagotomy include:
Highly elective vagotomy—cuts only part of the vagus nerve; does not require extra drainage
Vagotomy with antrectomy—the vagus nerve is cut and the lower part of the stomach (antrum) is removed; the antrum makes a chemical that promotes acid production
To decrease the risk of ulcer from
Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
Drink water from a safe source.
. Cigarette smoking increases the chances of getting an ulcer.
To decrease the risk of ulcer from NSAIDs:
Use other drugs when possible for managing pain.
Take the lowest possible dose.
Do not take drugs longer than needed.
Do not drink alcohol while taking the drugs.
Ask your doctor about switching to a newer NSAID. Look for one that is less likely to cause ulcers. Talk to your doctor about taking other drugs to protect your stomach and intestine lining.
Cigarette smoking increases the chances of getting an ulcer.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a