A gastrectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the stomach and is a treatment for stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is a relatively rare cancer, affecting about 26,000 Americans each year.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, you can find reliable care and treatment through gastrectomy in Arizona. Our care team consists of board-certified oncologists, surgeons, and cancer care specialists with services offered through The Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Find a Doctor or call (877) 914-1670 to schedule a consultation with an oncologist.
Why Gastrectomy is Performed
For most stages of stomach cancer, surgery offers the best chance to cure the cancer. Your doctor at Dignity Health may recommend either of the following types of gastrectomy:
- Total gastrectomy if cancer is present throughout the stomach. It is also the usual treatment when cancer is in the upper portion of the stomach.
- Partial or subtotal gastrectomy if cancer only affects the lower part of the stomach. Sometimes doctors recommend it when cancer is only in the upper part of the stomach.
What to Expect with Surgery
General surgeons and surgical oncologists perform gastrectomy in a Dignity Health hospital. It is major surgery requiring general anesthesia. You will not be awake during the surgery and will not feel anything. In a partial gastrectomy, the surgeon removes part of the stomach and attaches the remaining portion to the small intestine. For total gastrectomy, the surgeon removes the entire stomach and attaches the small intestine to the end of the esophagus.
For stomach cancer, gastrectomy offers the best chance of survival. Your care team will walk you through every part of the surgery so you can be comfortable with the procedure beforehand.
Recovery After Gastrectomy in Arizona
You will likely spend several days in the hospital after gastrectomy. You will need a feeding tube or intravenous (IV) nutrition while your digestive system heals. Your care team will help you slowly transition back to eating and drinking. You will learn how to eat much smaller, more frequent meals. Our experienced dietitians will help you meet your nutrition needs.
After gastrectomy, some people are not able to get enough nourishment on their own. If this is the case, you may need a permanent feeding tube. Ask your doctor what you can expect as far as normal eating and swallowing. With available treatments and the support of your family, friends, and care team, you can work together toward recovery. Dignity Health provides exceptional care for those undergoing gastrectomy in Arizona.