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A gastric ulcer (medical gastric ulcer) is a deep wound in the gastric mucosa. It is typically noticeable by upper abdominal pain. Gastric ulcers are mainly caused by an excess of stomach acid. Often a colonization of the gastric mucosa is responsible for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. With medication, a gastric ulcer can usually be completely cured.
Gastric ulcer typically causes oppressive or burning pain in the upper abdomen. Some gastric ulcers do not cause any discomfort. They are then often discovered by chance during an examination or become noticeable only in the case of complications.
How doctors treat a gastric ulcer depends mainly on the cause. A particularly important factor is whether the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori was detected in the stomach in the patient. If this is the case, the doctor primarily uses antibiotics for gastric ulcer therapy to eliminate the infection.
Gastric ulcers are rarely operated on today. For example, with a very stubborn boil, it may be useful to remove part of the stomach. As a rule, the vagus nerve (vagus nerve) is also severed (vagotomy) in order to reduce gastric acid production.
Complications of a gastric ulcer may also require surgery. For example, a stomach opening must always be surgically treated.