What is the role of surgery in the treatment of upper GI bleeding (UGIB)?

Updated: Sep 01, 2021
  • Author: Bennie Ray Upchurch, III, MD, FACP, AGAF, FACG, FASGE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Primary surgical intervention should be considered in patients with a perforated viscus (eg, from perforated duodenal ulcer, perforated gastric ulcer, or Boerhaave syndrome). In patients who are poor operative candidates, conservative treatment with nasogastric suction and broad-spectrum antibiotics can be instituted. Endoscopic clipping or sewing techniques have also been used in such patients.

Emergency surgery in UBIG typically entails oversewing the bleeding vessel in the stomach or duodenum (usually preoperatively identified by endoscopy), vagotomy with pyloroplasty, or partial gastrectomy. Angiographic obliteration of the bleeding vessel is often considered a favorable modality in patients who are poor surgical candidates. (See Angiography.)

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