Stomach is an important organ in our body which lies between the esophagus and the small intestine. The food eaten by human beings are accumulated and partly digested inside the stomach. After the preliminary digestive process inside the stomach, the food passes through the small intestine and the large intestine where the final digestion of the food takes place and the human waste is pumped out through the anus. If tumor or cancer is found inside the stomach, the only effective treatment option is to remove the stomach either completely or partially so that the cancerous cells are removed and the stomach is free from cancer. When the entire stomach is to be removed, it is known as total gastrectomy and when only a part of the stomach is removed it is known as radical gastrectomy. The small intestine will be connected to the remaining part of the stomach in a radical gastrectomy and to the esophagus in a total gastrectomy. The removal of stomach can be accomplished either through an open surgery or through a laparoscopic surgery.
Preparations for the surgery
Surgeon will make a preliminary assessment based on the medical history and the findings of the physical examination. Imaging techniques will be made use of for finding out the extent to which the caner has grown. Patient, who is a smoker, will be asked to stop smoking several weeks before the surgery. Patients will not be allowed to continue smoking as smoking delays the recovery process and increases the risk of problems after the surgical procedure. The patient has to inform the doctor the details of medications that she is taking and also whether she is pregnant or expecting pregnancy soon. Doctor will advice you which medications have to be stopped and which can be continued. Do not eat or drink anything after the midnight of the previous day of the surgery.
Laparoscopic procedure is generally done under general anesthesia. In this procedure a laparoscope is inserted to the stomach through a small incision made near the umbilicus. Laparoscope is an instrument which is having a video camera and light source on one end of a flexible tube. The videos taken by this camera are displayed in a video monitor placed in front of the surgeon in the operation theater. Special instruments for carrying out the surgery are inserted through other small incisions made near the first incision for the laparoscope. Carbon dioxide is pumped into the stomach to inflate it and make enough room for the surgeon to carry out the surgery and to get a clear view of the operational area. By observing this videos and controlling the devices remotely, the surgeon performs the surgery. In radical gastrectomy a portion of the stomach where cancerous cells are growing is removed and the small intestine is joined to the remaining part of the stomach.
Peculiarities of laparoscopic procedures
1) As the incisions needed for this surgery are smaller there will be less blood loss and less pain. This will naturally make the healing and recovery easier and faster. 2) The patients’ hospital stay will be of lesser duration and he will be able to return for to normal activities at an earlier date. 3) Persons who are obese and diabetic are not suitable candidates for laparoscopic surgeris. 4) Person who have earlier undergone a surgical procedure in the target area are not recommended for laparoscopic procedures.