Total Gastrectomy: What can I expect?

Posted by twocents @twocents, May 31, 2021

My husband was diagnosed with stage four gastric cancer in November. He has had chemo, chemo bath and a light dosage of radiation. The end of this month he will have a total gastrectomy. We have been to the mayo clinic twice and this is where the surgery will be. I’m wondering if anyone on here has had a total gastrectomy and what we can expect on recovery time and what the future brings. The surgeon at mayo says he will only be able to eat 3/4 of a cup of food at a time. We have been very pleased with the care we have received at Mayo clinic.

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@nrocpop

I am very sorry your husband has that diagnosis, as does mine. My husband had the total gastrectomy last September. At first, he was having a lot of trouble eating right. I found it helpful to out his protein and calorie goals on a white board. A friend of mine that is a dietician even helped me make a schedule of things to eat that he was willing to eat.

After a couple of months, he could eat a wide variety of foods and was much more normal. He still had to eat often, but the quantities he could eat did gradually improve.

Right now he is having more trouble because of strictures forming at the junction between his stomach and esophagus. I am hopeful that this will eventually resolve.

He got very very skinny (he always was thin) but we found that he can put some of the weight back on when he is able to eat well.

He sleeps propped up. If your husband needs to sleep with his head elevated, I think it would be easier to prop up the head of your bed with blocks that stores sell.

If I can be of any help, feel free to write back.

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Thank you so much for reaching out! It really puts my mind at ease to speak to someone who is going through the same process. It’s actually my dad and not my husband haha. Did your husband have a feeding tube?! If so for long?
Thank you again so much.

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Sorry. I saw the original comment was about a husband. Are we talking about a husband and a dad in this conversation? Either way, my husband opted not to get a feeding tube although one was suggested. I think I would try to take the doctors’ advice, but he did make it through without the feeding tube.

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I am having a total gastrectomy in August. I am curious of what to expect.

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Hi @rogro and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Since you were inquiring about a gastrectomy, I moved your post to this discussion:
– Total Gastrectomy: What can I expect?
(https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/total-gastrectomy) so you could connect with other people who have experienced it.
Do you mind me asking why you have to have one?

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@rogro

I am having a total gastrectomy in August. I am curious of what to expect.

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Hello I was going through mayo connect and seen your post I am also having my total gastrectomy August 19th in Rochester I have been trying to learn on what to expect and how to get the right mind set on how my life style is going to change staying positive hope all goes well and your recovery goes well. God bless Dave

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@davidday1965

Hello I was going through mayo connect and seen your post I am also having my total gastrectomy August 19th in Rochester I have been trying to learn on what to expect and how to get the right mind set on how my life style is going to change staying positive hope all goes well and your recovery goes well. God bless Dave

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Well I’ll have to look you up. My surgery date is August 17th at St Mary’s!

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@amandaa

Hi @rogro and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Since you were inquiring about a gastrectomy, I moved your post to this discussion:
– Total Gastrectomy: What can I expect?
(https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/total-gastrectomy) so you could connect with other people who have experienced it.
Do you mind me asking why you have to have one?

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I have stage three stomach cancer I have been through chemo and radiation. And I have one more Flot chemo to do and then a month off and then surgery.

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