Writing Sample: Robotic Gastrectomy for Cancer

Writing Sample: Robotic Gastrectomy for Cancer

Description: Selections from copy that was researched and written for the USC Department of Surgery Guide to Robotic Gastrectomy website and patient handout, dated July 23, 2012.

Robotic Gastrectomy at USC Department of Surgery

Surgical oncologists and thoracic surgeons at the Upper GI and General Surgery division at the Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery continually develop and employ minimally-invasive techniques using robotic technology to treat gastric cancer, as well as conducting research that will advance the future of robotic surgical practice.

What is Robotic Gastrectomy?

Robotic gastrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses robotics to assist in the removal of cancer is the stomach. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, the procedure also removes part or all of the stomach. If the cancer is in the early to moderate stage, or if the cancer has not spread too far, surgery is usually the best option for treatment. If the cancer is too widespread, surgery can help by preventing bleeding from the tumor, as well as preventing tumor growth from blocking the stomach.

There are three types of surgery that can be used to treat stomach cancer:

  1. An endoscopic mucosal resection uses an endoscope to remove the cancer. An endoscope is a long, flexible tube that is passed down the throat and into the stomach. This procedure is usually done only for certain cancers in the very early stages, before the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
  2. A subtotal gastrectomy is performed when the cancer is located either in the lower or the upper part of the stomach. If the cancer is in the upper part of the stomach, part of the esophagus and part of the stomach’s upper portion are removed. If the cancer is in the lower part of the stomach, part of the small intestine (duodenum) and part of the stomach’s lower portion are removed. Nearby lymph nodes are also removed. Only the cancerous sections of the stomach are removed; the non-cancerous sections of the stomach are reattached so that as much of the stomach remains, making it easier for the patient to eat.
  3. A total gastrectomy will be recommended if the cancer has spread throughout the entire stomach. A total gastrectomy is often also advised if the cancer is in the upper portion of the stomach, near the esophagus. The procedure removes all of the stomach, nearby lymph nodes, and sometimes requires removal of the spleen, a segment of the esophagus, intestines, the pancreas and other nearby organs. To replace the old stomach, a new stomach will be created from remaining intestinal tissue, usually attaching the end of the esophagus to part of the small intestine. This new stomach will allow food to be stored before it moves down the intestinal tract, giving the patient time to eat some food before feeling full. Because it takes less time to feel full, patients who have a total gastrectomy must eat more often.


Disclaimer: The information on this writing sample is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and may become out of date over time. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available on this page is for presentation purposes only.