Gastritis, stomach ulcers, hernias
Duke gastroenterologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gastritis, stomach ulcers, hernias, and other stomach disorders. We identify the source of your gastric or stomach pain, and recommend steps to restore your health. We have extensive experience treating stomach disorders and peptic ulcers with drugs and surgery when necessary.
Prompt care for stomach pain, ulcers and hiatal hernias
If you experience stomach pain, you may be suffering from stomach ulcers. Often referred to as peptic ulcers, these sores form in the stomach lining, and can result in burning abdominal pain. We work closely with people who experience persistent daily indigestion that has proven difficult to resolve. Our surgeons use minimally invasive procedures to repair routine and complex hernias that can occur in the upper part of your stomach. If stomach cancer is identified, we refer you to Duke specialists who use sophisticated diagnostic imaging to confirm your diagnosis and start your treatment promptly.
Our doctors use many resources to diagnose the cause of your stomach disorders, and perform these tests during a short office visit. Our use of advanced diagnostic imaging and our experience treating the full range of stomach disorders ensures you experience prompt relief. More complex conditions, such as partial stomach paralysis, in which food remains in the stomach longer than normal, benefit from our years of training in our specialty. We do everything we can to reduce or eliminate your discomfort as quickly as possible.
Choose Duke for your stomach disorder treatment because we offer:
- Diagnostic expertise. Our experienced specialists regularly treat the full range of digestive disorders from the esophagus to the small and large intestine. We use the latest tests to promptly pinpoint the source of your discomfort, and recommend effective treatment to maximize your relief.
- Prompt testing. Because of the pain and discomfort often associated with chronic stomach inflammation, we schedule tests within 24 to 48 hours once you enter our care. Prompt testing is the essential first step to restore your health and reduce your pain.
- Collaborative team care. Our team of stomach specialists includes gastroenterologists and surgeons.
- Experienced ulcer treatments. Ulcer surgery is rare, but we have the experience to produce successful results. We may use injections or cauterize (burn) damaged tissue to treat inflamed or bleeding stomach sores. The ulcer may be removed surgically. We also have experience in treating perforated ulcers in which erosion and inflammation has created a hole in stomach tissue.
- Regional referral center. Because we are a regional referral center, you may be referred to our care if have challenging gastric symptoms.
Depending on your symptoms and conditions, one or more of the following medications may be recommended:
- Over-the-counter antacids. Neutralize or reduce stomach acid.
- H2 antagonists. Relieve symptoms by blocking a receptor responsible for producing acid in the stomach.
- Proton-pump inhibitors. Block the secretion of stomach acid.
In rare cases, surgery may be recommended when ulcers do not respond to medical therapy, when they cause internal bleeding, and when they result in holes in the stomach lining.
Eliminating certain foods, such as lactose in dairy and gluten in wheat products, may help reduce symptoms. A diet focused on weight loss can also reduce symptoms if you are overweight.
Look for the presence of bacteria and other factors which may indicate a stomach disorder diagnosis.
A flexible lighted tube (called an endoscope) with tiny camera at its tip is inserted through the mouth to look for abnormalities in the stomach and its lining.
A tiny electronic device inserted by catheter through the nose detects weaknesses within the esophagus by monitoring strength and patterns of muscle function.
Measures acid content.
Tissue samples or biopsies help diagnose severe inflammation that has eroded or damaged the stomach lining. May also be used to indicate the presence of stomach cancer.
After eating a fatty meal, X-rays are taken at regular intervals to monitor the pace of emptying the pace at which the stomach empties food content to diagnose stomach paralysis.