Surgery can help relieve symptoms of advanced stomach cancer. The main reason people have surgery is to relieve a blockage. There are different types of surgery.
Why do you need surgery?
You might need surgery to relieve symptoms if you have advanced cancer and it can’t be cured. This is called palliative surgery.
The main reason people have surgery is to relieve a blockage. Stomach cancer can grow so that it blocks, or partly blocks, the passage of food through your digestive system. This can cause:
- feeling full after eating only small amounts
To relieve these symptoms, or stop them getting worse, you may have bypass surgery or surgery to remove part of your stomach.
Types of surgery
There are two types of operation:
- surgery to remove part of your stomach – partial gastrectomy
- bypass surgery
Other treatments for a blockage include:
- a stent
- chemotherapy or biological therapy
Surgery to remove part of your stomach
Removing part of your stomach is also called a partial gastrectomy. This surgery can relieve a blockage. How much the surgeon removes depends on the position of the cancer.
You’ll have a smaller stomach afterwards and you’ll need to eat small amounts more often rather than a big meal.
You may have a bypass operation if your surgeon can’t remove the cancer. The surgeon attaches the small bowel (jejunum) to the part of the stomach above the blockage. The food can then move through to the bowel.