What you should know
A laparoscopic gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your stomach.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- The air put into your abdomen may cause shoulder or chest pain for several days after your surgery. You may have pain or feel full even after you eat only small amounts of food. Without some parts of your stomach, you may not get all the nutrients you need from your food. Your caregivers may find during your surgery that they cannot complete the surgery as they planned. Your surgery would then become an open gastrectomy. You may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia medicine and have trouble breathing. You could bleed more than expected, or get an infection in your lungs or wounds. You may have leaking of stomach or bowel contents from your incisions and get a life-threatening infection.
- Even after surgery, tumors may return in your remaining stomach or in nearby organs and tissues. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening. Without surgery, your stomach tumors will continue to get bigger and cause problems. They may block your stomach or bowel, and prevent you from being able to eat. Tumors may press on and pinch nearby tissues and organs to cause pain and injury. Cancer cells may also spread to other body parts, grow into new tumors, and cause more damage.
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need blood or urine tests before your surgery. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, endoscopy, or an endoscopic ultrasound. A biopsy may also be done to get tissue samples of your tumor. The samples are sent to a lab for tests to check for cancer. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your surgery:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
- Your surgeon may insert an endoscope through your mouth down to your stomach. An endoscope is a bendable tube with a light and camera on the end. Your surgeon will use the endoscope to look at the inside of your stomach to find your tumors. He will make 3 to 5 small incisions for the laparoscopes and other tools to pass through. He may also make a larger incision on your abdomen to place his hand and tools inside your abdomen.
- Your abdomen will be filled with air to lift the abdominal wall and allow your stomach to be seen more easily. Your surgeon will remove your whole stomach or leave part of it. He will connect your esophagus or your remaining stomach to your small intestine (bowel). A drain (thin tube) may be placed to empty fluid or blood from inside your abdomen. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your surgery on time.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have a wound or skin infection near the area where your surgery will be done.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You vomit blood.
- You have severe pain in your abdomen, or you feel faint or weak.
- You have sudden trouble breathing or chest pain.
- You vomit after you have small amounts of food or liquids.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.