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Antrectomy With Vagotomy


What you need to know about an antrectomy with vagotomy:

An antrectomy with vagotomy is usually done to treat ulcers. It is also done for bleeding, tears, blockage, or cancer in your stomach. Your surgeon will remove the lower part of your stomach. The stomach that is left will be attached to your intestine. Your surgeon will also remove some of the nerves that tell your stomach to make more acid.

How to prepare for your surgery:

You may need to have an endoscopy weeks before your surgery. This will help your surgeon make a plan for your surgery. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for your surgery. You may need to take antibiotics for days before your surgery to prevent an infection. Your healthcare provider may tell you not to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. He or she will also tell you what medicines to take or not take the morning of your surgery.

What will happen during your surgery:

  • You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and pain-free during the surgery. Your surgeon will make a cut (incision) in your abdomen. The cut will go from just below your chest to just above your belly button. Your surgeon may instead make a small incision and place a laparoscope in it. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and camera on the end. The image from the laparoscope will be seen on a monitor. Your surgeon may insert other instruments by making 2 to 4 smaller incisions at different places on your abdomen.
  • The lower part of your stomach will be removed. Your surgeon will use stitches to attach your stomach to your intestine. He or she will make sure there are no leaks. He or she will close the incisions in your abdomen. A nasogastric (NG) tube will be placed through your nostril and into your stomach. The tube will be attached to suction to keep your stomach empty. This will allow your surgery area to start to heal.

Risks of antrectomy with vagotomy:

  • You may bleed more than expected. You may get an infection. Stomach acid may leak around the stitches or staples and into your abdomen. This is life-threatening. Nerves, organs, or blood vessels may be damaged during your surgery.
  • There may be a narrowing of the place where the stomach and intestine are stitched together. The area may become blocked and not allow food to pass through. You may have pain from stomach acid backing up into the stomach. Your ulcers may return. You may experience pain and diarrhea shortly after eating. You may need another surgery to fix any problems.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have trouble breathing and chest pain.
  • Your abdomen becomes hard and painful.

Seek care immediately if:

  • The incision wound on your abdomen begins to open.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • Your bowel movement is black or bloody.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have difficulty swallowing.
  • You vomit after eating.
  • You feel full shortly after you start to eat.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines can help decrease pain. You may need medicine to prevent or treat an infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Nutrition after surgery:

Your healthcare provider will tell you if you need to be on a special diet. He or she may tell you to do any of the following:

  • Eat 6 small meals a day.
  • Choose foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
  • Chew foods completely.
  • Drink liquids between meals.

After surgery self-care:

  • Do not lift more than 10 pounds for as long as directed. Also, avoid bending and twisting. This will help your surgery area heal.
  • Prevent blood clots and pneumonia. Walk around the inside of your house at least every 2 hours.
  • Do not drive until your healthcare provider says it is okay.

Incision and bandage care:

When your healthcare provider says it is okay, remove your bandage before you shower. It is normal to see a small amount of blood under the bandage. Carefully wash around your wound. It is okay to let soap and water run over your wound. Do not scrub your wound. Gently pat your wound dry. Do not get in a bathtub, swimming pool, or hot tub until your healthcare provider says it is okay.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You will need more tests to make sure your surgery area is healing. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.