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"Can one get a stomach transplant?"
My wife is turning 60, and I'm worried about her stomach. She's had ulcers for years, and other digestive problems, too. Maybe this is crazy, but if her stomach gets bad enough, would it be possible to just replace it with a stomach transplant?
Stomach transplants are not done, as the stomach is not considered an absolutely essential organ to the human body. Large portions of the stomach are either bypassed or cut off during routine weight loss surgeries, and the entire stomach is often removed in cases where stomach cancer is diagnosed. If your wife has been suffering from chronic stomach ulcers, she should be followed by a gastroenterologist, who is an internal medicine doctor that specializes in diseases of the stomach, intestines, and liver. This physician would most likely perform an upper endoscopy to assess the damage; this procedure involves putting a tube with a camera down the esophagus which allows for direct visualization of the lining of the stomach. There are a number of medications which can help reduce the occurrence and severity of stomach ulcers (such as as proton pump inhibitors), and certain medications to avoid which tend to cause ulcers as side effects when taken in great quantities (such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If she is having issues with chronic ulcers, she may also warrant testing for a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which can often lead to the formation of ulcers in the stomach and first part of the small intestine. She should have a discussion with her physicians regarding the best way to treat her stomach problems.
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