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Total Gastrectomy anyone?



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Hi all, I had the sleeve done at the end of August and have had major complications from an undetected leak. We're talking I was on death's door but due to many prayers and wonderful doctors I'm still here.

Been in the hospital since Nov 5th, doc says no matter how he does it I'll be home for Christmas, I'll just have a feeding tube so there's some good news. Just have to come back after the new year to finish fixing myself up.

Anyway, one of the possibilities and the end case of all this is that they would have to remove my entire stomach and attach my esophagus to my small intestine. Is there anyone who has had their whole stomach removed? The doc makes it sound like it's no big deal but it just seems like a big freaking deal to not have a stomach at all.

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I woke up from surgery to find out that I had no gallbladder and no stomach. They only left enough stomach to make a small pouch. I feel good now though.

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Wow, that must have been a shock. Is the pouch smaller than it would have been for say a "normal" bypass sized stomach?

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I am not really sure of the size, but I have my three month follow-up next Tuesday and will ask then. I don't have a lot of sensation in my pouch, I rely on slow eating and a running nose to help me know I am full.

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I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I did hear if another person ( different forum) that was going to have to have this done. Not sure if she has or not though.

I have no info to share. Just wanted to wish you luck.

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I looked into this 3-4 years ago when it was one option in handling a cancer scare. There are several Facebook groups catering to the partial and total gastrectomy crowd which I found useful, particularly in bringing up topics to discuss with the surgeon.

One of the concerns was that bile reflux seemed to be a relatively common problem (much more so than with its' close cousin, the RNY gastric bypass.) The surgeon's experience was that if he kept the limb lengths above a certain minimum (IIRC, 80 cm) there was no problem with it. This would make some sense, as most of those patients were starting at normal-ish weight rather than morbidly obese, so the temptation is to keep the limbs short to minimize malabsorption and weight loss - something that is not a problem with most of us! It is certainly something to discuss with the surgeon, however.

Recovery time with a TG, seems to be a lot longer than even an extensive PG (partial gastrectomy - basically an RNY). The doc does use a J tube for feeding for some weeks or months with a TG, but basically a normal WLS post op diet progression for a PG. It seems the esophagus is only a double layer structure, contrasted with a five layer structure of the stomach, so surgically, and healing-wise, there is a substantial difference between connecting the esophagus directly to the intestine, compared to using a small piece of stomach as the connection. Longer term, there seemed to be little difference in living, as they form a small pouch from the intestine similar to what is done with the stomach in the RNY or PG; it's just that the recovery and transition was longer and harder with the TG than with the PG, though there may be a bit more potential for reflux with the TG, as the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that keeps things from backing up from the stomach into the esophagus) is usually removed along with the remains of the stomach.

Remember, it may not be a big deal for the surgeon to do these things - he isn't living with it! It does seem that, if at all possible, it is worth keeping even a small section of stomach as a transition, rather than going direct from esophagus to intestine; it may not be all that much different in the long term, but the healing and recovery do seem to typically seem to be a lot easier.

Good luck with this all (you've already been through enough!)

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Thank you for posting this. My surgeon has not really talked about this. I have my three month appointment next week and will bring this up. So I guess I am a PG. Thanks for the information!

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Thank you RickM, I really appreciate that explanation. It makes it so much clearer.

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On 12/8/2019 at 4:22 PM, cubyblue6 said:

Hi all, I had the sleeve done at the end of August and have had major complications from an undetected leak. We're talking I was on death's door but due to many prayers and wonderful doctors I'm still here.

Been in the hospital since Nov 5th, doc says no matter how he does it I'll be home for Christmas, I'll just have a feeding tube so there's some good news. Just have to come back after the new year to finish fixing myself up.

Anyway, one of the possibilities and the end case of all this is that they would have to remove my entire stomach and attach my esophagus to my small intestine. Is there anyone who has had their whole stomach removed? The doc makes it sound like it's no big deal but it just seems like a big freaking deal to not have a stomach at all.

Sent from my SM-G975U using BariatricPal mobile app

After reading RickyM's post, I now have a better visual and understanding as to what needs to be done. I'm simply offering prayers for you that all shall and will be well. :1358_pray_tone4: #blessingstoyou

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Hi all, Happy New Year!!
Hope all is well with your new year.

Update from original post:
I was able to go home on Dec 24th (Yay!)with a feeding tube which was super annoying but I did t care, I was home. Being home wasn't the picnic I hoped it would be. I was so weak and nauseous the whole time. The antibiotics orally were awful and the shots I had to give myself were also not awesome.

But what was awesome was being with my family, that made all the crap worth it.

Now I'm back in the hospital (since Jan 9th actually). Had surgery on the 10th to remove my stomach. Surgery went well, pain was atrocious up until today the 15th, still there but much more tolerable. I was not able to eat or drink until yesterday when they did the leak test and I was approved for Clear Liquids SUPER YAY!!! So now i get Water, flavored waters, Jello, broth and tea. Yesterday was a good day [emoji4]. coughing has been a b***ch in regards to pain but all in all I'm on the right track. Next step is to get in 2-3 protien shakes today and tomorrow and maybe they'll let me go home in a couple days [emoji120] [emoji5]

Sent from my SM-G975U using BariatricPal mobile app

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