Gastrectomy Preoperative Procedures

Prior to surgery, patients undergo preoperative testing, which may include x-rays, CT scans, ultrasonography, blood tests, urinalysis, and an EKG.

Medications that "thin" the blood, such as aspirin, are discontinued several days prior to the operation. Other drugs, such as insulin for diabetes, may be withheld the day of surgery. As soon as the decision to undergo surgery is made, medication usage should be discussed with the physician.

The stomach must be completely empty before the operation begins to avoid vomiting that can occur during the procedure. Patients must abstain from solid food and liquid after midnight on the evening before the operation.

Upon arrival at the hospital (usually the day before surgery), patients must sign an informed consent form acknowledging that the procedure and risks have been explained and that they are aware that they will receive anesthesia and possibly other medications.

The anesthesiologist (i.e., doctor who administers anesthesia) speaks to the patient prior to surgery and performs a brief physical assessment. The anesthesiologist needs to know about medications being taken, any history of allergies, and previous adverse reactions to anesthesia. The patient's physical condition and history determines the choice and dosage of anesthesia and whether special precautions need to be taken.

An intravenous (IV) is started in the patient's room or in the preoperative area. Sedation is given by injection or through the intravenous to induce relaxation and cause drowsiness. Anesthesia is administered in the operating room.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Oct 2001

Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015