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Antrectomy with Vagotomy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I 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 (vagotomy).

How do I prepare for my 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 an antrectomy with vagotomy?

  • 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.

What will happen after my surgery?

You will be taken to a room and monitored until you are fully awake. Then you will be taken to your hospital room. The NG tube will stay in place for at least 1 day. You may only be able to have clear liquids for a few days after surgery.

What are the risks of an 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.

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Further information

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