Stomach is the part of our body where the food eaten by us are accumulated and is partly digested by digestive enzymes. After this initial digestion the food passes through small intestine and large intestine where the digestive process is completed and the waste is pumped out through the anus. Stomach lies between esophagus and small intestine. Tumor or cancerous cells found on stomach is removed by surgery and this process is called gastrectomy.
Cancerous tumors, bleeding, inflammation, perforations is stomach etc are the major clinical situations which necessitates gastrectomy. After removing the stomach either partially or wholly, as required, the small intestine is connected back to the remaining portion of the stomach or to the esophagus as the case may be.
Previously this surgery was done as open surgery. The availability of specialized tools and improvement in medical technology had made laparoscopic surgery possible in gastrectomy. In laparoscopy a small incision of size 1 to 1.5 cms is made near the naval. Through this incision the laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen. Through other three small incisions in the abdomen, specialized instruments for surgery are inserted. The laparoscope is an instrument with a video camera and a light source on one side of a long tube, the other side of which is connected to a monitor placed in front of the surgeon. The end with the videos camera is inserted into the stomach of the patient. The videos taken by the camera are conveyed to the monitor and thus he is able to see the organs and the instruments inside stomach. Viewing this, he performs the surgery by using the remote controls to control the instruments for surgery.
To decide about the necessity for gastrectomy the surgeon conducts primary tests required for ascertaining your general medical fitness and your response to anesthesia. Imaging of your stomach is done to determine the extent to which damages has occurred.
In laparoscopic surgery only small incisions are involved and therefore the patient will feel less pain and his recovery will also be faster. In laparoscopic surgery the patient will be able to attend to his normal job earlier than in open surgery. As your stomach is under surgery you will not be able to eat normally and it will take some time for your bowel to become normal. A tube connected to your abdomen through nose will be used for removing your stomach contents. Your food intake will be through catheter connected to your veins. During this period you are advised not to eat food rich in fiber content. You are also advised to eat food rich in vitamin, iron, and calcium in small quantities many times a day with lesser intervals of time.