What is an Antrectomy?

Antrectomy, also called partial gastrectomy, is a surgical procedure in which the antrum of the stomach is removed. The antrum is a part of the stomach located between the stomach’s body, where food are usually processed, and the stomach’s pylorous, which is the section connected to the small intestines. This procedure is frequently performed on patients whose peptic ulcer disease does not respond well to medications. Since the antrum is said to contribute to stomach acid production, antrectomy often helps lessen the amount of stomach acids in these patients.
Other reasons for an antrectomy include trauma to the abdomen, cancer, and gastric outlet obstruction. Examples of trauma that may result in an antrectomy are gunshots and stab wounds that have caused damage to the first part of the small intestines and the pancreas. In cases where blood vessels are injured, it is usually done as an emergency procedure.
Some cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and liver cancer, may compress sections of the stomach and lead to disorders in digestion. Blockage in the pylorous also often leads to gastric outlet obstruction (GOO). When this happens, food in the stomach is not emptied into the small intestines. An antrectomy is usually done to relieve these problems. Patients with stomach cancer are also frequently treated with antrectomy to remove malignant tissues in the stomach.
During the procedure, patients are often placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon then opens up the abdomen to expose the stomach and to remove the antrum. In many antrectomy operations, the surgeon may also perform a vagotomy, in which some branches of the tenth cranial nerve, or the vagus nerve, are cut. This nerve mostly contributes to the production of gastric acid in the stomach.
After an antrectomy, patients are usually kept in the hospital for a few days for monitoring. They are often given medications for pain, and antibiotics to prevent infection. These patients are also given instructions to watch their diet, and to undergo endoscopic check-up at least six weeks later. Home recovery may take many weeks.
One of the complications that some patients may experience after the procedure is dumping syndrome. This is when the food eaten leaves the stomach quickly and is emptied in the intestines. Symptoms are lightheadedness, sweating, nausea, and rapid heart beat. Other risks involved with the procedure include weight loss, swallowing difficulty, and diarrhea. Some patients may also present with malnutrition.

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