Total: this is where the entire stomach is removed
Partial: this is where the lower part of the stomach is removed
Sleeve: only the left side of the stomach is removed
Esophagogastrectomy: the top part of the stomach and part of the esophagus, the tube connecting your throat to your stomach, is removed
The good news is that gastrectomy surgery can now be performed laparoscopically
What is laparoscopic gastrectomy?
A laparoscopic gastrectomy is a minimally-invasive alternative to open surgery. Rather than opening up your abdomen to reach the stomach, several smaller cuts are made, and special small surgical instruments are inserted through the incisions to carry out the procedure.
There are a number of benefits to performing this surgery laparoscopically. Firstly, there are far fewer risks associated with the procedure since only small wounds are created. This reduces the chance of excessive bleeding and infection. Patients can also usually go home following their surgery sooner and will recover more quickly, with less post-operative discomfort than those patients who have undergone open surgery.
Am I a candidate for a gastrectomy?
A gastrectomy may be recommended for several different reasons. It is most commonly used to treat:
- Non-cancerous tumors
- Stomach ulcers (peptic ulcers)
- Oesophageal cancer
- Life-threatening obesity
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, you may be offered a gastrectomy. However, your candidacy will need to be thoroughly assessed before you can undergo the procedure. This is to ensure that you are healthy enough for your body to tolerate a surgical procedure and have a general anesthetic since both surgery and anesthesia come with risks for everyone. This is particularly important if you are having a gastrectomy to aid with weight loss since your body systems will also be under extra stress due to your weight.
The consultation process will involve:
- Considering your medical history to ensure that the benefits of surgery will outweigh the risks.
- A physical examination that will look at various aspects of your wellbeing, including things like blood pressure, to determine that you are healthy enough for surgery.
- A psychological evaluation. This is important because removing part or all of the stomach will have a significant impact on what and how you can eat in the future. You need to be fully prepared for and committed to embracing those changes before you can undergo surgery.
During your consultation, you will also be asked whether you smoke. Smoking can be a deal-breaker for any sort of gastrectomy procedure, and if you are approved as a candidate you will need to commit to quitting for at least three months before and three months after your procedure. This is essential because smoking increases the risk of complications both during and after your procedure, increasing the likelihood of issues such as a stroke, infection or even a heart attack. Smoking also slows down the rate at which your body can heal following your gastrectomy.
If you would like to talk to us about a gastrectomy procedure, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office where our knowledgeable and discreet team will be delighted to help you.