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Gastroduodenal outlet obstruction

Overview

Gastroduodenal outlet obstruction refers to a blockage in the outlet of the stomach that prevents the stomach from emptying itself. The condition is most commonly caused by cancer affecting the stomach or part of the small intestine, though it can have other causes. The most common cancers affecting these areas are gastric and pancreatic cancers.

 

Symptoms

Patients with gastroduodenal outlet obstruction may suffer from nausea and vomiting, weight loss and abdominal discomfort. This can severely affect quality of life.

 

Diagnosis

Gastroduodenal outlet obstruction can be difficult to diagnose, as it has similar symptoms to a number of other conditions. However, imaging techniques can be used to help identify a gastroduodenal obstruction, including CT, MRI and endoscopy.

 

Treatment

The condition can be treated using surgery or interventional radiology, depending on the individual patient’s situation. It is often not possible to cure the condition by surgically removing the obstruction, and although a surgical bypass is a possible palliative treatment, it is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates.

Interventional procedures can provide other options. For patients suffering from cancerous obstructions that cannot be surgically removed, stents placed via the gullet are a safe, palliative alternative. These procedures are performed either using fluoroscopic guidance alone or in combination with endoscopic guidance.