We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Total Gastrectomy?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A total gastrectomy is an invasive surgical procedure where a doctor removes the entire stomach and connects the base of the esophagus directly to the small intestine. This forces the patient to make significant lifestyle changes, and a surgeon usually only recommends this surgery when it is the best available option. Patients with stomach cancer and severe ulcer disease may be candidates for total gastrectomy. They should plan on spending around a week in the hospital after surgery to receive care.

The total gastrectomy can take four to five hours in an operating room, with the patient under general anesthesia. The surgeon carefully removes the stomach and stitches the small intestine and esophagus together. In the first few days after surgery, the patient cannot take anything by mouth, as the sutures need to completely heal. Before the patient can eat, an x-ray to check for leaks is necessary, after which patients can start consuming clear fluids, and gradually add more complex foods into their diets.

After a total gastrectomy, patients are prone to an issue known as dumping syndrome, where the rapid delivery of food into the intestine causes spikes in blood sugar, as well as chills, nausea, and discomfort. To address this, patients need to eat numerous small meals over the course of the day. Eating too much at a single sitting can expose a patient to the risks of complications like dumping syndrome or rupture at the surgical site. Patients also need to be careful about nutrition, as they are at increased risk of not getting adequate nutrition for their needs.

The lifestyle changes with total gastrectomy can be hard to adjust to for some patients. Most lose weight because they cannot eat enough, and in some cases, they can develop gallbladder problems. A surgeon will want to monitor the patient carefully after the procedure to check for signs of complications like infection, leaks at the joint between the esophagus and small bowel, and inflammation. Another surgery may be necessary to address complications, depending on their nature.

Before a total gastrectomy, the patient will meet with a surgeon to get as much information as possible about aftercare and necessary lifestyle changes. Patients may also want to consult a nutritionist to get advice on dietary choices after the procedure. Nutritionists can help patients establish a safe and healthy eating schedule, and offer advice on what to eat after surgery. While in the hospital as they recover, patients will usually receive more instruction and assistance from health educators and nurses.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a TheHealthBoard researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.