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Stomach Cancer Surgery: The procedure, risks, complications and more

  • Posted on- Oct 20, 2016
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Stomach cancer surgery is a procedure which involves removal of abnormal cancerous tissue within the stomach. It is performed on patients suffering from stomach cancer which is also known as gastric cancer.

How a stomach cancer surgery is performed?

Endoscopic Resection procedure

  • It is performed in very early cancers
  • The surgeon passes an endoscope (tube fitted with a camera) through the food pipe and into the stomach to visualise the cancer
  • The cancer is cut and removed using special surgical instruments that can be passed along with the endoscope

Subtotal Gastrectomy procedure

  • It is performed in cancers that are limited to either the upper or the lower portion of the stomach
  • The surgeon makes an incision on the skin of the abdomen and cuts through the layers to visualise the stomach
  • After cutting off the blood vessels to the affected portion of the stomach, the diseased part of the stomach is removed. The surgeon may also remove a portion of the food pipe or the intestine if it has been affected by cancer. The surgeon may also remove the lymph nodes that may be cancerous
  • The healthy ends of the gastrointestinal tract are then sutured together
  • After ensuring that there is no bleeding, the abdomen is closed in layers

Total Gastrectomy procedure

  • It is performed for cancers that involve a large portion of the stomach
  • The surgeon makes an incision on the skin of the abdomen and cuts through the layers to visualise the stomach
  • After cutting-off the blood vessels to the stomach, it is removed completely
  • The surgeon may also remove a portion of the food pipe or the intestine if it has been affected by cancer. Portions of nearby organs, such as the pancreas or spleen, may also be removed. The lymph nodes that may be cancerous are also removed
  • The healthy end of the food pipe is sutured to the intestines
  • After ensuring that there is no bleeding, the abdomen is closed in layers
  • In some cases, it may be possible to perform the surgery using minimally-invasive surgical techniques

A general surgeon performs stomach cancer surgery. It may take 2-3 hours for the surgery to complete.

What preparations are required before a stomach cancer surgery?

  • The doctor may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are currently being taken
  • Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time before the procedure is performed
  • Blood tests may be performed to determine if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
  • Inform the physician if you are allergic to any local anaesthetics, lidocaine, etc.
  • Avoid application of any cosmetics, deodorant, or topical medicines on the area prior to the procedure
  • It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine based products for a while before the surgery
  • Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed
  • The patient must avoid eating or drinking at least 8 hours prior to the surgical procedure, depending on when the procedure is arranged
  • For individuals suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range if not, their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin or a combination of oral medicines

Diagnostic lab tests required before a stomach cancer surgery


Complications during a stomach cancer surgery


Complications after a stomach cancer surgery

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Excessive diarrhoea
  • Infection within the surgical wound
  • Malnutrition
  • Partial paralysis of the stomach (gastroparesis)
  • Ulcer disease
  • Incisional hernia

It may take several weeks to recover from a stomach cancer surgery.

Comments

user profile image
29-10-2017 08:31 PM

I had suffered from Stomach Cancer in the past few years, then I decided to go through Total Gastrectomy procedure and the results are better.

user profile image
07-02-2017 02:27 PM

Nice information shared. You are working well.

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