A Guide to Upper Gastrointestinal Tract, Biliary, and Pancreatic Disorders

  • Clinical Updates in Women's Health Care CU
  • May 2021

ABSTRACT: Obstetricians and gynecologists are often the first practitioner to ascertain a history of symptoms suggestive of upper gastrointestinal tract, biliary system, and pancreatic disorders. There can be significant overlap in symptomatology among the disorders, and a careful history and physical examination will help narrow the differential diagnosis. Disorders range in seriousness from uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to advanced pancreatic cancer.

This monograph provides an overview of pathophysiology and screening, followed by sections on diagnosis and management of upper gastrointestinal, biliary and pancreatic disorders. The most common upper gastrointestinal disorder is GERD, which affects women of all ages and creates a treatment challenge in pregnant women. Guidance is provided in terms of evaluation of GERD symptoms, and treatment in the pregnant and nonpregnant patient.

Gallstone disease is the most common biliary disorder and can lead to pancreatitis as well. Information is provided to assist the reader in diagnosing symptomatic gallstone disease, as well as disorders that result from gallstone disease. A case-based format is used to review management of gallstone disease in pregnancy, as well as chronic pancreatitis in pregnancy.

Some upper gastrointestinal, biliary, and pancreatic disorders can be treated by a woman’s obstetrician–gynecologist, however, many disorders require additional testing and treatment in consultation with a gastroenterologist.

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