Mallory Weiss Syndrome
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Mallory Weiss syndrome is a tear. It forms in the lining where the stomach and esophagus meet. The esophagus is the tube that goes from your mouth to your stomach.
Sometimes the tears bleed. The blood may pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It can also be moved up and out of the body when vomiting.
Mallory Weiss tears are caused by too much pressure in the belly. This can be caused by:
The chances of Mallory Weiss tears are higher if you have problems that increase pressure in stomach such as:
Mallory Weiss tears may cause:
Sometimes, bleeding from the tears can happen rapidly and be serious. You may notice:
Bleeding that is light and happens over a long period of time may make you feel tired and cause breathing problems.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You may also be asked if you noticed the blood after vomiting, retching, or seizures.
You may have:
Mallory Weiss tears will heal on their own.
If the tear is severe, you may need surgery to close the it. A transfusion can be used to replace lost blood.
Angiography can also be used to control bleeding. Other tools are used to find the bleeding. Medicines or other materials are injected into the blood vessels to control it.
Endoscopy can also be used to stop bleeding by:
To help lower your chances of Mallory Weiss tears:
American College of Gastroenterology
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
Acute upper nonvariceal gastrointestinal bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
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Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastrointestinal-bleeding.
Last reviewed May 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 8/15/2020