Gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of the stomach.
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 re-connected to the remaining stomach (partial gastrectomy) or to the esophagus (total gastrectomy).
Today, some surgeons perform gastrectomy using a camera. The surgery is done with a few small surgical cuts. The advantages of this surgery, which is called laparoscopy, are a faster recovery, less pain, and only a few small cuts.
Gastrectomy is used to treat:
Risks of any anesthesia include:
Risks of any operation include:
Risks of this surgery include:
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 doctor or nurse if you need help quitting.
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
How well you do after surgery depends on the reason for the surgery and your condition.
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 patients have mild discomfort from the surgery. You can easily control this with pain medications.
Patients usually stay in hospital for 6-10 days.
After discharge, you should perform light activity for the first 4 - 6 weeks. If you take narcotic pain medications, you should not drive.
Gastrointestinal specimens (including hepatobiliary and pancreatic specimens). In: Lester SC: Manual of Surgical Pathology, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2010: chap 19.
Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.
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