Minimally Invasive Surgery - Surgery of the stomach

Patients may require the placement of a feeding tube due to illness and an inability to swallow safely. Typically, these tubes are placed via endoscopy by a gastroenterologist; however, situations arise where endoscopy is not possible and the tube must be placed surgically. Feedings tubes may be temporary or permanent depending on the specific situation.

The tube is placed using a laparoscopic approach with only 4 small incisions, one of which is used for the tube itself. The tube is secured to the stomach using stitches, then that part of the stomach is secured to the abdominal wall (show pictures). During the operation, the tube is tested to ensure it does not leak where it enters the stomach. The day after surgery, a special x-ray is taken to confirm this and feedings are begun. Depending on the situation, it is possible for the patient to go home once the appropriate amount of feedings is being taken in.

There are tumors of the stomach which, depending on the size and type, can be removed using the laparoscopic approach. These are called GIST tumors (Gastro-Intestinal Stromal Tumors). Once a thorough evaluation is performed to determine the size and extent of the tumor, it can safely be removed laparoscopically. The advantages compared to conventional surgery are faster recovery, less pain and less time spent in the hospital. Depending on the location, this may entail removal of a small part of the stomach. Alternatively, should the tumor be in certain areas of stomach, a somewhat larger operation may be needed to reconnect the stomach to the small intestine. Should this be needed, it is still possible to perform this laparoscopically with a few small incisions. This carries the same advantages, including a decrease risk of infection of the incisions and a decrease risk of hernia formation.