Gastrectomy is surgery to remove all or part of the stomach. It is often done to remove tumours or areas with ulcers. In some cases, the doctor may also cut the nerves that signal the stomach to make acid. This is called a vagotomy.
The doctor will close the cut (incision) in your belly with stitches or surgical staples. These will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery.
After surgery, your stomach will be smaller than before. This means that you will get full more quickly when you eat. You may need to change the way you eat so that you get enough nutrition. Drink fluids between meals instead of with meals. You may need to eat 5 or 6 small meals each day instead of 2 or 3 large meals.
Most people go home 4 to 5 days after surgery. You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in 4 to 6 weeks.
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.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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