Ulcer is manifested through a defect in the mucus layer in digestive tract with tendencies of further advancement deeper in the tissue. This usually happens in the mucosal layers in duodenum and stomach, but it may also occur in esophagus and other intestinal parts. Stomach ulcer occurs because of the acidic effect of the stomach acid, and because of the misbalance in HCL levels.
Stomach ulcer usually affects older people of both genders and it is manifested through the pain that occurs after the meal. It is followed with anorexia and weight loss. Most common etiological factors of stomach ulcers that decrease the resistance of stomach mucosa are arteriosclerosis, smoking, alcohol and occurrence of gastric metaplasia (changed tissue that can turn into malign tissue at some point and under particular circumstances), chemical substances, salt and certain bacterial infections, (usually helicobacter pylori).
While duodenal ulcer is usually primarily treated with medicament, stomach ulcer is almost always treated with surgical method. In the beginning, therapy for stomach ulcer does include medicaments, but ten weeks after the meds have been administrated, if there is no progress and ulcer is not regressing, surgery is needed. Most commonly, surgery is used for solo gastric ulcer. This surgery is a local excision of the ulcer with a selective vagotomy and pyloroplasty. If there is combination of duodenal and stomach ulcer, the surgery performed is based on a classic resection. If ulcer is antropyloric, part of the stomach needs to be eliminated.
Ulcers and complications
Surgical complications that might appear are bleeding, which affects about 20% of patients that suffer from this condition. Bleeding can be invisible and it is followed by anemia, while visible bleeding is manifested through blood in stool and blood in vomited material. Another complication is stenosis of the outer channel of the stomach, which is a result of the constant recidive of the ulcer, or which appears if a person did not treat this condition for a long period. Stenosis is followed by vomiting, because the outer channel is obstructed. Perforation of the ulcer occurs because of the excretion of the material inside the ulcer into the abdominal cavity, which further leads to the bacterial infection. This can become very complicated and might need immediate medical intervention. Another complication is the penetration of the ulcers into surrounding organs, such as pancreas, colon and other. Ulcer is a serious condition and if not treated, it might even endanger a patient’s life.