What is Stomach Cancer Surgery?

Stomach cancer or gastric cancer, like other cancers, is an abnormal growth of cells that occurs in the stomach. The stomach is a muscular sac to receive and holds the food and helps it to break down and get digested.

Stomach cancer can affect any part of the stomach, while the cancers in the central part of the abdomen, i.e., stomach body, is most common

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer surgery?

Difficulty in swallowing, feeling of bloating after eating, vomiting, heartburn, ingestion, nausea, and stomach pain are common signs and symptoms of stomach cancer.

GERD, obesity, smoking, gastritis, Pylori infection, stomach polyps, a diet rich in salt, smoked foods are the factors that augment the risk of having stomach cancers.

Surgery for Stomach Cancer:

Likewise, other cancer treatment, stomach cancer, also demands a team. The team includes a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, pathologist, and radiologist, etc.

Treatment usually includes surgery to remove cancer; other therapies may be recommended before and after the procedure. The procedure recommended by the doctor is based on the position of cancer, where cancer has spread, and most importantly, the patient’s overall health.

 In very early-stage disease, the surgeon recommends a less invasive endoscopic procedure that is beneficial to eliminate the body of stomach cancer.

During this endoscopic procedure, the surgeon will insert an endoscope, a flexible tube through the mouth, to the affected area. He will remove all the cancerous tissues ad cells with an instrument attached to the endoscope.

The stomach cancers that have progressed past the early stage require surgery to treat the disease, either a traditional open surgery or minimally invasive surgery. The surgery will improve patient’s life allowing them to live a comfortable life.

To treat stomach cancer, a surgeon has two options.

  • Partial gastrectomy: This procedure is recommended if the cancer is found in the lower part of the stomach. Sometimes is also used to treat cancers that are only in the upper region of the stomach. Doctors typically remove part of the stomach; sometimes, the esophagus part and duodenum are also removed. Lymph nodes, omentum, and fatty tissue are also removed. 


  • Total gastrectomy: This surgery is recommended if cancer has spread throughout the stomach and if the tumor is in the stomach’s upper area.

During this, the surgeon removes the entire stomach, nearby lymph nodes, and omentum, and sometimes removes the spleen and some parts of the esophagus, intestine, and other nearby organs. The esophagus end is then attached to the small intestine, allowing food to enter the intestinal tract. Patients who have had their stomach removed should be particular regarding their eating. They should eat a small amount of food at a time. 

Most subtotal and total gastrectomy involves a large incision in the abdomen. They can be done using laparoscopy, which enables the surgeon to remove the stomach through several smaller cuts. 

Lymph node removal?

In either a subtotal or total gastrectomy, the surrounding lymph nodes are removed. This is a crucial point of the operation as the surgery’s success depends on how many lymph nodes the surgeon removes.

What is the recovery process after a gastrectomy?

The recovery process depends on the treatment that the surgeon performed.

Patients who undergo a partial gastrectomy spend 3 to days in the hospital, their weight decreases; they can resume their regular activities after three to six months from the surgery.

Patients who undergo total gastrectomy spend 5 to 8 days in the hospital, and they should adjust their diet and take a multivitamin, which will help in the recovery process.