ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration, based on an endoscope image, showing a bleeding peptic ulcer, a breach in the lining of the digestive tract caused by digestion of the mucosa (lining membrane) by acid and pepsin. This may occur when these are present in abnormally high concentrations or when some other effect reduces the normal protective mechanisms of the mucosa. Symptoms may include vomiting and pain in the upper abdomen. Complications such as bleeding, perforation and obstruction due to scarring may occur. The symptoms are alleviated by antacid medicines, but surgery may be required if the ulcer persists.
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