(Total Gastrectomy; Partial Gastrectomy; Subtotal Gastrectomy; Stomach Removal)
DefinitionThis is a surgery to remove all or part of the stomach.
|Abdominal Organs, Anterior View|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for ProcedureGastrectomy is most often done to treat stomach cancer . It is currently the only way to cure stomach cancer. The use of chemotherapy and radiation after surgery may help improve survival. Even if the cancer is too advanced to be cured, gastrectomy can help to prevent bleeding, obstruction, and pain. In addition to treating stomach cancer, this surgery may also be done to treat:
- Ulcer disease
- Benign tumors in the stomach
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Damage to nearby organs
- Leaking from the new connection between the stomach, intestine, and/or esophagus
- Hernia formation at the incision site
- Blood clots
- Reaction to anesthesia
What to Expect
Prior to ProcedureYour doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)—a test to check for blood in the stool
- Endoscopy—a procedure that uses a scope with a camera on the end to examine the gastrointestinal system
- Imaging studies to look at the esophagus, stomach, and intestine, including:
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
- Your doctor may recommend:
- Eating a special diet
- Taking antibiotics
- Showering the night before your surgery using antibacterial soap
- Arrange to have someone drive you to and from the hospital. Also, arrange for someone to help you at home.
- Eat a light meal the night before the surgery. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
AnesthesiaGeneral anesthesia will be used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the surgery. It is given through an IV in your hand or arm.
Description of the ProcedureAn incision will be made in your abdomen. Next, surgical instruments will be used to remove all or part of your stomach. If only part of your stomach is removed, it is called partial gastrectomy. With this type of surgery, the remaining part of your stomach will be connected to your esophagus and small intestine. If this is done for ulcer disease, the nerves that control acid production may also be cut. If all of your stomach is removed, it is called total gastrectomy. A new stomach will be made using your intestinal tissue. The end of your esophagus will be attached to your small intestine.If you have stomach cancer, the lymph nodes will be removed and examined as well. This is because cancer can spread through your lymphatic system.After the surgery is complete, the muscles and skin of the abdomen will be closed with stitches or staples. A dressing will be applied.
How Long Will It Take?1-3 hours or longer
How Much Will It Hurt?Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Average Hospital StayThis surgery is done in a hospital setting. The usual length of stay is 6-12 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.
Post-procedure CareAt the HospitalYour doctor will give you guidelines on:
- When and what you can eat
- How you need to restrict your activity
- During the first few days after surgery, you may be restricted from eating. As your stomach stretches during recovery, you will be able to eat more at a time.If you had a total gastrectomy, you will need to eat smaller amounts of foods more often.
- Frequent heartburn
- Abdominal pain
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Prescribe medications and vitamin supplements
- Recommend medications to reduce stomach acid
- Make changes in your diet
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision