Gastrectomy Overview

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Gastrectomy Defined

A gastrectomy is the excision (the removal) of the stomach. One common medical reason is a bleeding gastric ulcer which can cause major discomfort. A doctor may have performed basic lab work and questioned a patient but the doctor requires confirmation for a definitive diagnose.

Other medical reasons include the perforation of the stomach and stomach cancer. A gastrectomy is the most sought after procedure for stomach cancer.

The doctor may check multiple parts of the body during the gastrectomy. The main parts of the body involved in a gastrectomy may include the stomach, small intestine, pylorus, esphagus, and the duodenum.

Before a Gastrectomy

A patient should discuss a gastrectomy with his/her doctor to make an informed medical decision for treatment. A doctor will perform a medical history including current medical conditions and ask the patient about medical symptoms such as does he/she experience rectal bleeding, does the patient experience stomach pain, and has the patient nausea and/or vomiting.

The doctor may perform specific tests or procedures. For instance, an endoscopy may be performed to examine the stomach, small intestines, and espphagus using a small, lighted mouth tube. Also, the doctor will discuss eating, drinking, and dressing for the procedure.

During a Gastrectomy

A gastrectomy will be performed by a surgeon after a patient has been prepared for the surgery. The surgeon will remove all or part of the stomach before closing the wound for healing. The surgeon may work with a few members of an operating staff or a larger staff with another doctor if more than one surgery is performed.

The patient is monitored during the gastrectomy for any bleeding or breathing problems which may occur during a surgical procedure.

After a Gastrectomy

Once a patient has the gastrectomy, he/she is taken to a aftercare room to monitor for possible complications. Some of these medical complications include infections, fever, and/or bleeding. Once the patient has been released from the hospital he/she will be given a list of instructions.

For instance, the patient may be required to remain home for adequate recovery. This may be for several weeks along with any follow-up medical appointments to see how the surgical wound has healed.

A gastrectomy is a common medical procedure with both benefits and risks.