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What are the symptoms of a tear in the esophagus?

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Quick Answer

Tear in the esophagus can cause a wide range of symptoms, which include vomiting blood and bloody stools, to more critical symptoms such as severe retching and vomiting, and extreme pain in the chest and the abdominal area. There are a few medical conditions that may cause a tear in the esophagus and these include the Mallory-Weiss tear and the Boerhaave syndrome.

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Full Answer

The National Institutes of Health website defines Mallory-Weiss tear as a tear that occurs on the lower part of the esophagus or on the upper part of the stomach, where it meets the esophagus. The Malllory-Weiss tear may be caused by prolonged periods of violent coughing or vomiting and in some cases, by epileptic seizures.

Among the symptoms of Mallory-Weiss tear are bloody stools and blood in the vomit. According to the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus, this medical condition usually resolves on its own in a few days even without treatment.

The Boerhaave syndrome, also known as esophageal perforation, is a more serious esophageal injury. The possible causes of this condition, according to the New York Times health guide include tumors, gastric acid reflux with ulceration, violent vomiting, swallowing of a foreign object and injury caused by trauma.

Symptoms of the Boerhaave syndrome include extreme pain on the chest and abdomen, difficulty in swallowing and breathing problems. Other symptoms such as dyspnea, fever and shock may develop later. Surgery is a usual treatment for this condition as well as the draining of fluid from the chest, treatment with antibiotics and fluids given via IV.

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