When faced with Total Gastrectomy, after a diagnosis of Stage 1 adenocarcinoma which was prolific throughout my stomach, I immediately thought of the Surgeon who I thought would be the best to perform this surgery.
I am an Administrator at a Home Health agency but I once worked as a LPN and reached out to a surgeon who was familiar to me. To my surprise he suggested another surgeon who he said was the best at this procedure and actually teaches the technique he uses to surgical students here in Arkansas. I am grateful to this day that he suggested who he thought was the best Doctor for the job even though he could have performed this surgery himself.
There are MANY things to consider when picking a surgeon; these are just a couple that were important to me.
- How many gastrectomies has the surgeon performed? How is it performed?
- You want someone who knows what they’re doing. Two ways can be used, 1. Is to do an open surgery (what I had) or 2. laparoscopic surgery (also successful)
- What is their leakage rate?
- The connection of your esophagus to your small intestines. This is the most critical element of your surgery. The success rate is paramount.
- Does the Surgeon do a gallbladder removal at the time of Gastrectomy?
- My surgeon removed my gallbladder at the time of Gastrectomy due to my gallbladder had “sludge” in it. I have read that several TG patients end up having to go back in for gallbladder removal within a couple of years due to drastic diet changes so if the surgeon is agreeable, I advocate doing it all at once.