Gastrectomy is surgery to take out part or all of the stomach. It is usually done to treat stomach cancer and some stomach ulcers. After surgery, you probably will feel full much sooner after eating than you did before surgery. This is because your stomach has less room for food.
This surgery also can make your stomach empty food into your small intestine more quickly than it did before. Rapid emptying of the stomach can cause a problem called dumping syndrome. This can make you feel faint, shaky, and nauseated. And you may have diarrhea. It also can make it hard for your body to get enough nutrition. Dumping syndrome can happen within a half hour after you eat or 2 or 3 hours later.
You may be able to prevent dumping syndrome and feeling too full by changing the way you eat. Try to eat more small meals rather than a few large ones. And drink fluids between meals, not with them. Make sure you eat enough to keep your weight up and to get enough protein, calcium, and iron. A dietitian can help you plan menus to pack good nutrition into several small meals.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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