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Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

How Is Bleeding in the Digestive Tract Treated?

Once the underlying cause of bleeding in the digestive track has been identified, most people can be effectively treated.

The use of endoscopy has grown and now allows doctors to see not only bleeding sites but to directly apply therapy as well. A variety of endoscopic therapies are useful for treating digestive tract bleeding. Active bleeding from the upper digestive tract can often be controlled by injecting chemicals directly into a bleeding site with a needle introduced through the endoscope. A doctor can also cauterize, or treat with heat, a bleeding site and surrounding tissue through the endoscope, or place a clip on a bleeding blood vessel.

Endoscopic techniques do not always control bleeding; sometimes surgery is required to control active, severe or recurrent bleeding.

Once bleeding is controlled, medications are sometimes prescribed to prevent recurrence of bleeding.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 29, 2013
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