WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum (du-o-de-num). The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine that is connected to your stomach. Sometimes, a peptic ulcer may also be seen in the esophagus (e-sof-ah-gus). Peptic ulcers are often caused by a bacteria (germ) in the stomach called Helicobacter (hel-i-ko-bak-ter) pylori or H. pylori. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and certain foods and medicines may cause a peptic ulcer.
- The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is burning pain in the upper abdomen (stomach). The pain occurs hours after a meal or when you are hungry. This may be relieved by eating or taking antacid medicines. An endoscopy, upper GI x-ray, or urea breath test may be needed to diagnose a peptic ulcer. Treatment usually includes antibiotic, antacid, or antiulcer medicines.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
Peptic ulcers usually heal without problems if treated promptly. If left untreated, you may have bleeding or perforation of the ulcer, which may cause an internal abdominal infection (peritonitis). You may need surgery to treat your ulcer. Call your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your ulcer, medicine, or care.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
You may be given the following medicines:
- Antacids: You may need antacids to decrease stomach acid.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Antiulcer medicine: This medicine helps decrease the amount of acid that is normally made by the stomach.
- Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
- Endoscopy: This test uses a scope to see the inside of your digestive tract. A scope is a long, bendable tube with a light on the end of it. A camera may be hooked to the scope to take pictures. During an endoscopy, caregivers may find problems with how your digestive tract is working. Samples may be taken from your digestive tract and sent to a lab for tests. Small tumors may be removed, and bleeding may be treated during an endoscopy.
- Upper GI x-rays: During an upper GI series, an x-ray machine is used to take pictures of your stomach and intestines (bowel). You may be given a chalky liquid to drink before the pictures are taken. This liquid helps your stomach and intestines show up better on the x-rays. An upper GI series can show if you have an ulcer, a blocked intestine, or other problems.
- Urea breath test: This test checks for H. pylori. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains a radioactive carbon. Thirty minutes after drinking the liquid, you will blow into a bag. The radioactive carbon will be broken down by H. pylori if it is present.
- Blood transfusion: You may need a blood transfusion for certain medical conditions. You may also need a transfusion if you lose a large amount of blood during surgery. You may ask a family member or friend with the same blood type to donate blood for you. This is called directed blood donation. Many people are worried about getting AIDS, hepatitis, or West Nile Virus from a blood transfusion. The risk of this happening is rare. Blood banks test all donated blood for AIDS, hepatitis, and West Nile Virus. If you refuse a blood transfusion, your condition may get worse, and you may die.
- Surgery: You may need to have surgery to remove the ulcer. You may also need to have your vagus nerve cut. The vagus nerve is a major nerve in your body. By cutting the vagus nerve, the stomach releases less acid and moves less. This can be less irritating to the stomach wall.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Peptic Ulcer (Inpatient Care)
Drugs associated with:
- Peptic Ulcer
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- Peptic Ulcer with Hemorrhage and Obstruction
- Peptic Ulcer with Hemorrhage and Perforation
- Peptic Ulcer with Hemorrhage/Perforation/Obstruction
- Peptic Ulcer with Obstruction
- Peptic Ulcer with Perforation
- Peptic Ulcer with Perforation and Obstruction
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