A major operation to remove the whole or part of the STOMACH. Total gastrectomy is a rare operation, usually performed when a person has cancer of the stomach; the OESPHAGUS is then connected to the DUODENUM. Sometimes cancer of the stomach can be treated by doing a partial gastrectomy: the use of partial gastrectomy to treat PEPTIC ULCER used to be common before the advent of eﬀective drug therapy.
The operation is sometimes still done if the patient has failed to respond to dietary treatment and treatment with H2-blocking drugs (see CIMETIDINE; RANITIDINE) along with antibiotics to combat Helicobacter pylori, an important contributary factor to ulcer development. Partial gastrectomy is usually accompanied by VAGOTOMY, which involves cutting the VAGUS nerve controlling acid secretion in the stomach. Among the side-eﬀects of gastrectomy are fullness and discomfort after meals; formation of ulcers at the new junction between the stomach and duodenum which may lead to GASTRITIS and oesophagitis (see OESOPHAGUS, DISEASES OF); dumping syndrome (nausea, sweating and dizziness because the food leaves the stomach too quickly after eating); vomiting and diarrhoea. The side-eﬀects usually subside but may need dietary and drug treatment.