Gastrectomy is a stomach surgery, during which specialists remove a part of stomach or stomach as a whole. There are several reasons for undergoing such a stomach operation - some of these of strict health-related nature, while in other cases gastrectomy operation is treated as weight loss treatment such as stomach sleeve. No matter the case, it is an important medical procedure, influencing patient’s quality of life as well as their habits in the future.
From many reasons for partial or total stomach removal, the most common are:
•Some types of stomach cancer
•Polyps and ulcers
•Using partial stomach removal as a weight loss treatment
Am I Suitable for Gastrectomy?
If you suffer from stomach cancer or tumor, have health or life-threatening polyps and ulcers, or fight with morbid obesity, you may be eligible for gastrectomy. However, the decision regarding stomach removal will be taken by your specialist.
Preparing for Gastrectomy
Preparation for gastrectomy has a few stages. Firstly, when the decision about partial or total gastrectomy is taken, you need to inform your doctor about all type of diseases and medical conditions that you suffer from, as well as all medicines you take on a regular basis. Your specialist will decide which of them can affect your stomach removal surgery. For around a week before your stomach surgery, it is important to put aside all blood-thinning medicines such as aspirin. Finally, for a day or so before gastrectomy, you need to fast and not take neither food nor even a sip of water.
How is Gastrectomy Performed?
There are four types of gastrectomy surgery:
•Total gastrectomy – doctor removes all of the patient’s stomach during stomach surgery
•Partial gastrectomy – usually the lower part of one’s stomach is removed
•Sleeve gastrectomy – only left side of patient’s stomach is removed in gastric surgery, it is performed usually as a weight loss treatment
•Oesophagogastrectomy – both the top of one’s stomach and some part of gullet is removed
Apart from this, there are two main techniques of gastrectomy, regarding the way doctor accesses patient’s stomach. In the classical method, the doctor opens patient’s abdomen in order to perform gastrectomy. The newer approach is to perform laparoscopic gastrectomy, where instead of a wide cut, the doctor makes small incisions and enter patient’s abdomen with the use of laparoscope. This method of stomach surgery results is shorter recovery and less visible scarring.
Back to Work
Up to the case
Duration of Operation
Number of Trips Abroad
The first day or two after your gastrectomy can be a quite unpleasant experience. A tube will be placed in your stomach through your nose in order to collect fluids produced by it. For the next few days after stomach removal, you will need to stay at the hospital in order to recover. Then, there comes a normal life with a completely new diet – doctor will introduce you into details but shortly food will need to be vitamin-rich while high-fibre foods are forbidden. This diet may accompany you for several months after your stomach surgery or even for longer than that.
Gastrectomy Risks and Complications
Gastrectomy procedure is a complex surgery, during which you may be exposed to some risks. These include infections, internal bleeding, leaking of stomach acid and complications related to your digestive system. However, these are rather rare and in the hands of a good specialist, these shouldn’t happen during your gastrectomy.
Gastrectomy Side Effects
One of the most important side effects of partial or total gastrectomy is so called dumping syndrome. Many patients who underwent stomach removal operation are suffering from it. If you eat too much or you choose inappropriate food, your gastric system may react with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, using a tailored diet after your gastrectomy should limit the occurrence of dumping syndrome.
Gastrectomy Success Rates
Success rates of gastrectomy procedure depend on the exact type of stomach removal applied. As for partial or sleeve gastrectomy, the success rate is estimated to be around 99%, with 75% success rate as for weight loss effects. As for total gastrectomy, the 5-year survival rate is thought to be around 70%.
Before and After Gastrectomy
The main difference after gastrectomy is diet. Adapting to it may take some time. Apart from it, stomach removal should have a positive influence on patient’s well-being, regarding both health and (in the case of patients suffering previously from morbid obesity) weight loss.