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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

What Happens During Total Gastrectomy for Stomach Cancer

This surgery is done for people who have cancer in the middle or upper part of the stomach. For this surgery, the surgeon makes an up-and-down cut (incision) in the middle of your abdomen. The surgeon removes these organs:

  • Your whole stomach

  • The bottom part of your esophagus

  • The first part of your small intestine, called the duodenum

  • Nearby lymph nodes

  • Possibly other organs near the tumor

The surgeon reconnects your esophagus to the second part of your small intestine, called the jejunum. This new connection allows you to continue to eat and digest food although you will only be able to eat a small amount of food at a time. The surgeon may also place a special tube called a jejunostomy feeding tube (J-tube). The J-tube goes through your abdominal skin and into the second part of your small intestine. This tube allows you to receive special liquid feedings while you are not able to take any food or fluids by mouth.