Ulceration which occurs within the duodenum is one of the common surgical complaints with a wide spectrum of types and severity of presentation. Many ulcers are usually caused by a bacterial infection or particular types of painkilling drugs.
Ulcers may be diagnosed in a variety of ways but the most accurate and useful is an OGD.
The vast majority of duodenal ulcers will heal with a maximum of six-week course of acid suppression therapy using a proton pump inhibiting drug. The eradication of Helicobacter Pylori can be done with a week long course of two antibiotics in combination. Clearly, the treatment should also address other stimulants of ulcer formation, smoking, and NSAID use. However duodenal ulcers that present as an emergency to the hospital with either bleeding or perforation do require aggressive treatment. Perforation is always treated with the urgent operation and patch repair of the hole created by the ulcer.
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