Stomach Cancer Surgery: Gastrectomy & Laparoscopy

Stomach Cancer Surgery: Gastrectomy & Laparoscopy

MSK gastric surgeon, Daniel Coit, dressed in his scrubs while working on a computer

Surgery is the most common form of treatment for stomach cancer. Daniel Coit and other gastric surgeons are highly experienced and use minimally invasive approaches whenever possible.

Surgery is a common treatment for stomach cancer, especially when it’s in its early stages. Depending on your situation, we may incorporate minimally invasive surgical techniques when performing gastrectomy to help lessen the risk for complications, shorten your recovery time, and minimize pain.

Gastrectomies To Treat Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancers that are advanced or aggressive may require a partial or total gastrectomy.

  • Partial gastrectomy involves removing part of your stomach and the nearby lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy) to determine if they contain cancer cells. Depending on the tumor’s location, your surgeon may also remove parts of other tissues and organs.
  • Total gastrectomy is an appropriate treatment if you have stomach cancer that’s advanced but hasn’t metastasized (spread) to other organs. Your surgeon removes your entire stomach and may also remove parts of other organs and tissues near the tumor. To enable you to continue eating and swallowing normally the surgeon then connects your esophagus to your small intestine.

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The Minimally Invasive Surgery Option

Our gastric surgeons have been leaders in using minimally invasive surgical techniques to help treat stomach cancers. Your treatment team will meet with you to discuss your two primary options: laparoscopy or robot-assisted surgery. Both techniques can help shorten your recovery time and reduce your risk for complications.

  • Laparoscopy: With his approach, your surgeon inserts a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a video camera at its tip) into your abdomen through a tiny incision in the skin. He or she can then operate through this small opening with special instruments.
  • Robot-assisted surgery: With this approach, your surgeon uses a robotic surgical tool to perform the operation from a console that displays a magnified 3-D image of the inside of your abdomen, highlighted with a special fluorescent dye.

Predict How You’ll Do after Stomach Surgery

Our gastric carcinoma nomogram is an online tool can predict how well you will do after surgery for stomach cancer. The results of your nomogram can help your treatment team adjust your plan of follow-up care as needed.

The nomogram may be difficult to use and understand without the help of your doctor, however. You’ll need many pieces of technical information from your time at MSK, including your diagnosis and treatment details. For these reasons we strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before using the nomogram.