Radical

Gastrectomy

What is radical gastrectomy?

Radical gastrectomy is one of the go-to surgical procedures for treating gastric carcinoma; which includes small early cancer of the upper stomach, localized cancer in the upper stomach, and gastric cancer without metastasis.

This procedure is mainly performed to remove a section of the stomach caused by complications due to gastric carcinoma.

What are the symptoms of

gastric carcinoma?

There may be no symptoms in gastric carcinoma cases early on, but later symptoms like bloating after eating, loss of appetite, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, etc appear. In advanced stages there might be blood in stools, vomiting, weight loss, stomach ache, trouble in swallowing food, jaundice, abnormal fluid buildup in the stomach(this condition is called Ascites) start showing up.

What are the types of

Gastrectomy?

There are four major types of gastrectomy based on the part of the stomach that needs to be removed.

  • Total Gastrectomy: This procedure involves removing the whole stomach nearby lymph nodes and parts of the Esophagus and small intestine
  • Partial gastrectomy : this procedure involves removing part of the stomach affected with cancer , nearby lymph nodes and other organs near the tumour.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: In this procedure, the left part of the stomach is removed.
  • Esophagogastrectomy: In this procedure, the top part of the stomach, a part of the esophagus, the tube which connects the throat to the stomach is removed.

What are the different techniques of

gastrectomy?

There are two types of gastrectomy techniques,

  • Open Gastrectomy – This is a surgical approach where a large cut is made in the patient’s stomach or the chest. This is the go-to procedure for treating stomach cancer and it is more effective than a laparoscopic approach. The reason is, by employing this approach, it is easier to remove the affected lymph nodes.
  • Laparoscopic Gastrectomy – This is a minimally invasive procedure, where minute incisions are made and a laparoscope ( a small instrument with a narrow tube that has a light source and camera at the end of the tube) is inserted, and using the laparoscope’s video camera the surgeon can locate the affected part of the stomach and through incisions that are made surgical equipment go through and the affected part is removed. After this, the incisions are sealed using surgical glue or staples. 

Complications associated with gastrectomy:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Discharge from surgical wounds

This procedure can also lead to complications like anemia and osteoporosis due to the reduction of the ability to absorb vitamins.

What is the Road to

Recovery?

If the patient is fine and the pain is less, then he is discharged immediately and a follow-up checkup is held every 7 to 10 days post discharge. If the pain in the incisional area persists the doctor will advise bed rest for a week.

One might feel nauseated post-surgery, this might be due to anesthesia administered for the surgery. Post-surgery one might feel shoulder pain because of the gas that was pumped in during the surgery, which will go away within 48 hours.

Till the patient can eat and drink normally, nutrients are supplied to his body through IV fluids. If it’s a minimally invasive approach like laparoscopic surgery, the patient may be discharged within 7-10 days. The surgeon will advise strict bed-rest till the patient recovers.c The patient might feel nauseous post-surgery, this might be due to the anesthesia administered for the purpose. In the case of a laparoscopy gastrectomy, the patient might feel shoulder pain for 48 hours because of the gas pumped during the surgery.

After the surgery, the surgeon will prescribe painkillers regularly till the patient recovers. In case of an open procedure, the patient will be discharged in 15-20 mins.

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