Upper gastrointestinal bleeding requires immediate medical attention. This emergency may occur due to many different contributing factors. Sufferers of ulcers either in the stomach of the duodenum may be at a markedly higher risk for developing a wound. Additionally, those battling cancer in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum may also see the development of an upper GI bleed as a result of their preexisting condition. Whatever the cause, there are several treatment methods that may be employed by doctors to combat upper GI bleeds.
Despite the range of different options, a doctor should naturally limit their selection according to a few major factors. Specifically, a patient's recent medical history may inform a doctor's decision in terms of treatment options. Patients recently coming out of a surgical procedure may not be prepared to enter into another invasive surgery. Similarly, patients already prescribed a certain pharmaceutical regimen may not be advised to take other drugs that could complicate their body's already modified chemistry.
Physical treatment options may include some more traditional approaches as well as invasive, but less intensive, procedures. Although not as popular as pharmaceutical options, the option to put the patient through a full surgery and sew up the areas around the bleed is one potential treatment method. Additionally, surgeons may be able to clip the bleeding area with an endoscope, reducing the overall stress to the patient's body in comparison to a more intensive surgery.
For pharmaceutical options, there are several potential drugs that may be used. Many of these specifically target the upper digestive system, modifying the system's ability to deal with an open wound. In particular, drugs known as proton pump inhibitors are used to promote healing in the area of the wound as well as cutting back on the presence of gastric acid.