Abstract: Obstetrician-gynecologists often are the first health care providers to ascertain a history of symptoms suggestive of upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, biliary, and pancreatic disorders in female patients. Because a significant overlap can exist in the symptomatology of these disorders, a detailed medical history and physical examination will help narrow the differential diagnosis. Disorders range from uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to advanced pancreatic cancer.
This monograph provides a brief overview of basic science and screening, followed by sections on diagnosis and management of upper GI tract, biliary, and pancreatic disorders. The most common upper GI 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 both the pregnant and nonpregnant patient.
Gallstone disease is the most common biliary disorder and it can lead to pancreatitis as well. Information is provided to assist in the diagnosis of symptomatic gallstone disease as well as disorders that result from gallstone disease. Although some upper GI tract, biliary, and pancreatic disorders can be treated by a woman's obstetrician-gynecologist, many disorders require additional testing and treatment best approached in consultation with a gastroenterologist.