Depending upon the extent of cancer, partial or total gastrectomy is performed. So, subtotal or partial gastrectomy is a kind of surgery when only a part of the stomach is removed. Total gastrectomy presupposes removal of all stomach as well as surrounding tissues. Lymph nodes near the tumor also are often removed during surgery.
When a subtotal (partial) gastrectomy has been performed the remaining part of the stomach is connected to the esophagus and small intestine. Total gastrectomy means that the entire stomach is removed and your esophagus is attached directly to the small intestine.
When stomach cancer is caught at an early stage and your surgeon is able to remove the entire tumor, a complete recovery is possible. Unfortunately, diagnosis usually doesn't occur until stomach cancer has spread through the stomach wall to nearby lymph nodes or other organs. At this point, it's not possible to remove all the cancer surgically, but your doctor may still recommend an operation to alleviate pain, intractable bleeding or obstruction. In some cases of advanced stomach cancer, a laser beam directed through an endoscope can vaporize most of the tumor and relieve obstruction without an operation.
At the early stages it is possible for a surgeon to remove the entire tumor, consequently a full recovery is possible. But in most cases the symptoms of stomach cancer occur when cancer has already spread through the stomach wall to lymph nodes and other inner organs. In this case, from the surgical point of view it's impossible to remove the entire tumor. However, the operation may lessen pain, bleeding or obstruction. In some cases of advanced stomach cancer, a laser beam directed through an endoscope vaporizes most of the tumor and relieve obstruction without an operation.
Gastrectomy is performed in cases of gastric adenocarcinomas, primary gastric lymphomas (originating in the stomach), and the rare cases of leiomyosarcomas (also called gastric sarcomas). Gastrectomy for gastric cancer is almost always done by the traditional "open" surgery technique, which requires a wide incision to open the abdomen. However, some surgeons use a laparoscopic technique that requires only a small incision. The laparoscope is connected to a tiny video camera that projects a picture of the abdominal contents onto a monitor for the surgeon's viewing. The stomach is operated on through this incision.
A traditional "open technique" is almost always applied in cases of gastrectomy for gastric cancer. This technique requires a wide incision to open the abdomen. But a considerable part of surgeons use laparoscopic technique. The latter requires a small incision. A doctor uses a tiny video-cam that projects a picture to the monitor to guide the operation. The stomach is being operated on through this small incision. The benefits of this technique are less pain and hospitalization period.
After having performed gastrectomy people may experience problems like vomiting and dumping syndrome, diarrhea. Dumping syndrome is usually observed just after eating or several hours after the meal. That results in nausea, weakness, dizziness and sweating.