Removing the cancer by surgery is the most common primary treatment for stomach cancers. Roswell Park gastrointestinal surgeons perform the following procedures:
- Partial (subtotal) gastrectomy with gastrojejunostomy (open or laparoscopic): This procedure is used for cancer in the lower part of the stomach. The surgeon removes the portion of the stomach containing cancer, along with nearby tissues and lymph nodes for further examination, and then attaches the remaining part of the stomach to the intestine.
- Total gastrectomy with esophagojejunostomy (open or laparoscopic): For cancers in the upper part of the stomach, the entire stomach is removed and as well as nearby lymph nodes, and portions of the esophagus, small intestine and other tissues. Rarely, the spleen is removed, too. The esophagus is then connected directly to the small intestine.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally-invasive technique in which surgeons operate through a few tiny incisions in the abdomen, aided by a tiny lighted camera inserted through one incision, to provide a magnified view of the operating field on a video console. The stomach is very accessible with laparoscopic tools. Compared to traditional open surgery, laparoscopic procedures are associated with:
- Reduced hospital stay
- Fewer wound infections
- Less pain
- Less blood loss
- Faster recovery