Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome Treatment

Treatment for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is directed at both the tumors and the stomach ulcers. Removing the tumors can help to eliminate the ulcers since they are the underlying cause for the ulcers. Part of the challenge in treating Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is locating and removing the tumors. If the tumors have spread to your liver, surgery may not be an option.

Treatment for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome usually includes some combination of surgery and medications that block acid production in the stomach. Severe Zollinger-Ellison syndrome may require chemotherapy.

Specific treatment options for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome include:

  • Surgery for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome:
    • Procedure to remove the tumor from the pancreas, stomach, liver, or intestine
  • Tumors in the liver may require:
    • Removing a portion of the liver
    • Arterial embolization procedures to interfere with blood flow to certain parts of the liver to destroys the tumors
    • Injecting medications into the tumor directly
    • Chemotherapy
    • Liver transplant
  • Proton pump inhibitors: medications that stop the production of acid by the stomach
  • Chemotherapy for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome:
    • To treat tumors that spread outside the stomach or pancreas (usually the liver)
    • Interferon
    • Octreotide

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome Drugs

Medications that stop the production of stomach acid include:

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome:

Continue to Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome References
  1. Desir B, Poitras P. Oral pantoprazole for acid suppression in the treatment of patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Can J Gastroenterol. 2001 Dec;15(12):795-8. [11773945]
  2. Gibril F, Jensen RT. Advances in evaluation and management of gastrinoma in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2005 May;7(2):114-21. [15802099]
  3. Gibril F, Jensen RT. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome revisited: diagnosis, biologic markers, associated inherited disorders, and acid hypersecretion. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2004 Dec;6(6):454-63. [15527675]
  4. Roy PK, Venzon DJ, Shojamanesh H, Abou-Saif A, Peghini P, Doppman JL, Gibril F, Jensen RT. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Clinical presentation in 261 patients. Medicine (Baltimore). 2000 Nov;79(6):379-411. [11144036]
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