Learn About Gastrectomy

What is the definition of Gastrectomy?

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

  • If only part of the stomach is removed, it is called partial gastrectomy
  • If the whole stomach is removed, it is called total gastrectomy
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What are the alternative names for Gastrectomy?

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

What happens during a Gastrectomy?

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 would someone need a Gastrectomy?

This surgery is used to treat stomach problems such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Polyps (growth on the lining of the stomach)
What are the risks?

Risks for anesthesia and surgery in general include:

  • Reactions to medicines or breathing problems
  • Bleeding, blood clots, or infection

Risks for this surgery include:

  • Leak from connection to the intestine which can cause infection or abscess
  • The connection to the intestine narrows, causing blockage
How to prepare for a Gastrectomy

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:

  • If you are or might be pregnant
  • What medicines, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements you are taking, even ones you bought without a prescription

During the week before your surgery:

  • You may be asked to stop taking blood thinners. These include NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen), vitamin E, warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), and clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • Ask your surgeon which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
  • Prepare your home for when you go home after surgery. Set up your home to make your life easier and safer when you return.

On the day of your surgery:

  • Follow instructions about not eating and drinking.
  • Take the medicines your surgeon told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Arrive at the hospital on time.
What to expect after a Gastrectomy

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.

Stomach anatomy
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What are the latest Gastrectomy Clinical Trials?
Safety and Efficacy of a Novel Intelligent Navigation 4K UHD 3D Endoscopic Imaging System in Laparoscopic Gastrectomy
Summary: This study aims to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of the Intelligent Navigation 4K UHD 3D Endoscopic Imaging System in patients with gastric cancer.
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A Multi-center, Phase IV, Extension Study in PEGASUS-D Trial to Evaluate Efficacy of Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) for the Prevention of Gallstone Formation After Gastrectomy in Patients With Gastric Cancer
Summary: Of those patients who participated in PEGASUS-D FAS clinical trial, patient must sign the informed consent form in order to participate in this extension study.~The medical records of the patients will be reviewed throughout the study.
What are the Latest Advances for Gastrectomy?
Clinical Evaluation of the Medium-Term Efficacy of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy against Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome in Obese Patients.
Summary: Clinical Evaluation of the Medium-Term Efficacy of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy against Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome in Obese Patients.
Clinical Remission of Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy after Bariatric Surgery in a Young Morbidly Obese Patient.
Summary: Clinical Remission of Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy after Bariatric Surgery in a Young Morbidly Obese Patient.
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Gastric carcinosarcoma with FGFR2 amplification under long-term control with pazopanib: a case report and literature review.
Summary: Gastric carcinosarcoma with FGFR2 amplification under long-term control with pazopanib: a case report and literature review.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: September 28, 2020
Published 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.

What are the references for this article ?

Antiporda M, Reavis KM.Gastrectomy. In: Delaney CP, ed. Netter's Surgical Anatomy and Approaches. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 8.

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.