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Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia Treatment in Wichita, KS

What is Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia?

Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia or GAVE is also known as watermelon stomach. It is a rare condition that causes the blood vessels in the stomach lining to weaken and bleed. It is nicknamed watermelon stomach due to the red stripes that appear on the stomach lining, much like the stripes of the outside of a watermelon.

The expertly trained gastroenterologists at KU Wichita Gastroenterology have extensive experience diagnosing and treating patients throughout the Wichita area for watermelon stomach. Call (316) 293-3455 to request an appointment at our gastroenterology clinic in Wichita today.

What are the Symptoms of GAVE?

This is a rare condition that affects the lining of the stomach. It is more common in older adults and in females. Although some people will experience no symptoms, others will feel tired and notice blood in their stool.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Iron deficiency anemia or a lack of iron in the blood
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting blood
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Chronic blood loss
  • Internal bleeding

If you experience any of these symptoms be sure to talk to your gastroenterologist right away. The cause for this condition is not clear, but may depend on your body’s ability to produce acids, hormones, or digestive enzymes within the stomach. It may also be related to liver failure or other issues that dilate blood vessels.

How Will I Know If I Have GAVE?

You may discuss your symptoms with your gastroenterologist and you may have an endoscopy to diagnose GAVE. This is a scope that goes through your throat so your gastroenterologist can look inside your stomach with a camera.

You may also need blood samples to look for signs of low iron.

How Can I Treat GAVE?

If you are diagnosed with GAVE, you may only need iron supplements to help relieve your symptoms or you may need medication or regular blood transfusions.

In some cases, procedures can be performed to help.

These include:

  • Burning, sealing the bleeding blood vessels in the stomach known as Argon plasma coagulation (APC)
  • Placing elastic bands around enlarged blood vessels to prevent bleeding known as Endoscopic band ligation (EBL) with higher rate of bleeding control
  • Treatment to heat to burn and seal bleeding blood vessels (Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet, or YAG laser coagulation)
  • Using nitrous oxide to freeze the blood vessels that watermelon stomach affects known as Cryotherapy
  • Using heat that radio waves produce to destroy affected blood vessels known as Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
    Often a combination of these treatments may be performed to help give you relief of your symptoms.

Request an Appointment for GAVE treatment

The gastroenterologists at KU Wichita Gastroenterology will take the time to fully evaluate your symptoms in order to determine the treatment option that is right for you. Call (316) 293-3455 for an appointment today.

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