Stomach Disorders

Stomach Disorders

Gastritis, Stomach Ulcers, Hernias

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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.

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We Diagnose and Treat the Full Range of Stomach Disorders

Our doctors use many resources to diagnose the cause of your stomach disorder. 

  • If you suffer from stomach pain, you may have stomach ulcers. Often referred to as peptic ulcers, these sores form in the stomach lining and can result in burning abdominal pain. We have extensive experience treating peptic ulcers.
  • We also work closely with people who have 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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 use of advanced diagnostic imaging and our experience treating the full range of stomach disorders ensures you get prompt relief. We do everything we can to reduce or eliminate your discomfort as quickly as possible.

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Treatments

Medication

Depending on your symptoms and conditions, one or more of the following medications may be recommended:

  • Over-the-counter antacids, which neutralize or reduce stomach acid
  • H2 antagonists, which reduce acid production in the stomach
  • Proton-pump inhibitors, which block the secretion of stomach acid

Surgery

In rare cases, surgery may be recommended when ulcers do not respond to medical therapy, when they cause internal bleeding, or when they result in holes in the stomach lining.

Dietary Changes

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.

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Tests

Blood Tests

Look for the presence of bacteria and other factors that may help your doctor diagnose a stomach disorder.

Upper Endoscopy

A flexible lighted tube (called an endoscope) with a tiny camera at its tip is inserted through the mouth to look for abnormalities in the stomach and its lining.

Manometry

A tiny electronic device inserted by catheter through the nose detects weaknesses within the esophagus by monitoring the strength and patterns of muscle function.

Acidity Testing

Measures acid content.

Biopsy

Tissue samples, or biopsies, can help diagnose severe inflammation that has eroded or damaged the stomach lining. May also be used to identify the presence of stomach cancer.

Stomach Emptying Test

After you eat a fatty meal, X-rays are taken at regular intervals to monitor the pace at which your stomach empties food content. This test may be used to diagnose stomach paralysis.

Among the Best Hospitals for GI in the U.S.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is ranked among the best in the nation for gastroenterology and GI surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Why Choose Duke

Diagnostic Expertise
Our experienced specialists regularly treat the full range of digestive disorders, from the esophagus to the small and large intestines. We use the latest tests to 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.

Experienced in Successful 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 have 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.