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Laparoscopic Gastrectomy


A laparoscopic gastrectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your stomach.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Antibiotics may be given through an IV to prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your surgery:

  • 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. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. The bandages covering your incision keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove your bandages soon after your surgery to check your wound.

  • You may need to walk around the same day of surgery , or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.
  • Deep breathing and coughing will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath. Then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.


  • 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 healthcare providers 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.


You 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.

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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.