A Mallory-Weiss tear is a rip or tear of a mucous membrane in the digestive tract. Mucous membranes are tissues that line body cavities or canals. They make a thick, slippery liquid called mucus. The mucus protects the membranes and keeps them moist.
This kind of tear is most often caused by severe vomiting. It usually happens where the lower esophagus and the stomach meet. (The esophagus is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.)
You will have a physical examination by your doctor. You may also have blood tests. And you might have an endoscopy. This is a test that uses a thin, flexible, lighted viewing tool (endoscope) to allow a doctor to see the insides of organs, canals, and cavities in the body.
Symptoms may include:
In most cases, the tear heals on its own in a few days. You may not need treatment.
If you do need treatment, you may have to stay in the hospital. Treatment may include:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: August 9, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology
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