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Gastrectomy

Surgery - stomach removal; Gastrectomy - total; Gastrectomy - partial; Stomach cancer - gastrectomy

Gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of the stomach.

Presentation

Stomach anatomy

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Description

The surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia (asleep and pain free). The surgeon makes a cut in the abdomen and removes all or part of the stomach, depending on the reason for the procedure.

Depending on what part of the stomach was removed, the intestine may need to be reconnected to the remaining stomach (partial gastrectomy) or to the esophagus (total gastrectomy).

Today, some surgeons perform gastrectomy using a camera. The surgery, which is called laparoscopy is done with a few small surgical cuts. The advantages of this surgery are a faster recovery, less pain, and only a few small cuts.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

This surgery is used to treat stomach problems such as:

Risks

Risks for anesthesia and surgery in general include:

Risks for this surgery include:

Before the Procedure

If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking several weeks before surgery and not start smoking again after surgery. Smoking slows recovery and increases the risk of problems. Tell your health care provider if you need help quitting.

Tell your surgeon or nurse:

During the week before your surgery:

On the day of your surgery:

After the Procedure

You may stay in hospital for 6 to10 days.

After surgery, there may be a tube in your nose which will help keep your stomach empty. It is removed as soon as your bowels are working well.

Most people have pain from the surgery. You may receive a single medicine or a combination of medicines to control your pain. Tell your providers when you are having pain and if the medicines you are receiving control your pain.

How well you do after surgery depends on the reason for the surgery and your condition.

Ask your surgeon if there are any activities you shouldn't do after you go home. It may take several weeks for you to recover fully. While you are taking narcotic pain medicines, you should not drive.

References

Garvey EM, Heniford BT. Laparoscopic gastric surgery. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:1509-1516.

Teitelbaum EN, Hungness ES, Mahvi DM. Stomach. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 48.

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Review Date: 9/3/2018  

Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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