Vagotomy





Definition

Vagotomy is the surgical cutting of the vagus nerve to reduce acid secretion in the stomach.


Purpose

The vagus nerve trunk splits into branches that go to different parts of the stomach. Stimulation from these branches causes the stomach to produce acid. Too much stomach acid leads to ulcers that may eventually bleed and create an emergency situation.

A vagotomy is performed when acid production in the stomach can not be reduced by other means. The purpose of the procedure is to disable the acid-producing capacity of the stomach. It is used when ulcers in the stomach and duodenum do not respond to medication and changes in diet. It is an appropriate surgery when there are ulcer complications, such as obstruction of digestive flow, bleeding, or perforation. The frequency with which elective vagotomy is performed has decreased in the past 20 years as it has become clear that the primary cause of ulcers is an infection by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Drugs have become increasingly effective in treating ulcers. However, the number of vagotomies performed in emergency situations has remained about the same.

A vagotomy procedure is often performed in conjunction with another gastrointestinal surgery, such as partial removal of the stomach ( antrectomy or subtotal gastrectomy ).


Demographics

Gastric (peptic) ulcers are included under the general heading of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. GI disorders affect an estimated 25–30% of the world's population. In the United States, 60 million adults experience gastrointestinal reflux at least once a month, and 25 million adults suffer daily from heartburn. Left untreated, these conditions often evolve into ulcers. Four million people have active peptic ulcers; about 350,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Four times as many duodenal ulcers as gastric ulcers are diagnosed. The first-degree relatives of patients with duodenal ulcer have a two to three times greater risk of developing duodenal ulcer. Relatives of gastric ulcer patients have a similarly increased risk of developing a gastric ulcer.


Description

A vagotomy can be performed using closed (laparoscopic) or open surgical technique. The indications for a laparoscopic vagotomy are the same as open vagotomy.

There are four basic types of vagotomy procedures:

  • Truncal or total abdominal vagotomy. The main vagal trunks are divided, and surgery is accompanied by a drainage procedure, such as pyloroplasty .
  • Selective (total gastric) vagotomy. The main vagal trunks are dissected to the point where the branch leading to the biliary tree divides, and there is a cut at the section of vagus close to the hepatic branch. This procedure is rarely indicated or performed.
  • Highly selective vagotomy (HSV). HSV selectively deprives the parietal cells of vagal nerves, and reduces
    To perform a vagotomy, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient's abdomen (A). The stomach is located (B), and the vagus nerves are cut in turn (C and D). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)
    To perform a vagotomy, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient's abdomen (A). The stomach is located (B), and the vagus nerves are cut in turn (C and D). (
    Illustration by GGS Inc.
    )
    their sensitivity to stimulation and the release of acid. It does not require a drainage procedure. The branches of Latarjet's nerve are divided from the esophagogastric junction to the crow's foot along the lesser curvature of the stomach.
  • Thoracoscopic vagotomy. Performed through the third, sixth, and seventh left intercostal spaces, the posterior vagus trunk is isolated, clipped, and a segment excised.

A vagotomy is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen and locates the vagus nerve. Either the trunk or the branches leading to the stomach are cut. The abdominal muscles are sewn back together, and the skin is closed with sutures.

Often, other gastrointestinal surgery is performed (e.g., part of the stomach may be removed) at the same time. Vagotomy causes a decrease in peristalsis, and a change in the emptying patterns of the stomach. To ease this, a pyloroplasty is often performed to widen the outlet from the stomach to the small intestine.


Diagnosis/Preparation

A gastroscopy and x rays of the gastrointestinal system determine the position and condition of the ulcer. Standard preoperative blood and urine tests are done. The patient discusses with the anesthesiologist any medications or conditions that might affect the administration of anesthesia.


Aftercare

Patients who have had a vagotomy stay in the hospital for about seven days. Nasogastric suctioning is required for the first three or four days. A tube is inserted through the nose and into the stomach. The stomach contents are then suctioned out. Patients eat a clear liquid diet until the gastrointestinal tract regains function. When patients return to a regular diet, spicy and acidic foods should be avoided.

It takes about six weeks to fully recover from the surgery. The sutures that close the skin can be removed in seven to 10 days. Patients are encouraged to move around soon after the operation to prevent the formation of deep vein blood clots. Pain medication, stool softeners, and antibiotics may be prescribed following the operation.


Risks

Standard surgical risks, such as excessive bleeding and infection, are potential complications. In addition, the emptying patterns of the stomach are changed. This can lead to dumping syndrome and diarrhea. Dumping syndrome is a condition in which the patient experiences palpitations, sweating, nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea shortly after eating.

The following complications are also associated with vagotomy surgery:

  • Gastric or esophageal perforation. May occur from an electrocautery injury or by clipping the branch of the nerve of Latarjet.
  • Delayed gastric emptying. Most common after truncal and selective vagotomy, particularly if a drainage procedure is not performed.

People who use alcohol excessively, smoke, are obese, and are very young or very old are at higher risk for complications.


Normal results

Normal recovery is expected for most patients. Ulcers recur in about 10% of those who have vagotomy without stomach removal. Recurrent ulcers are also found in 2–3% of patients who have some portion of their stomach removed.


Morbidity and mortality rates

In the United States, approximately 3,000 deaths per year are due to duodenal ulcer and 3,000 to gastric ulcer. There has been a marked decrease in reported hospitalization and mortality rates for gastric ulcer.


Alternatives

The preferred short-term treatment for gastric ulcers is drug therapy. A recent review surveying medical articles published from 1977 to 1994 concluded that drugs such as cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine, H2 blockers, and sucralfate were efficient, with omeprazole considered the "gold standard" for active gastric ulcer treatment. Surgical intervention, however, is recommended for people who do not respond to medical therapy.


Resources

BOOKS

Ansolon, K. B. Developmental Technology of Gastrectomy & Vagotomy. Rockville, MD: Kabel Publishers, 1995.

Kral, J. Vagal Nerve Function. New York: Elsevier Science Ltd., 1984.

"Stomach and Duodenum." In Current Surgical Diagnosis and Treatment, 10th ed. Edited by Lawrence W. Day. Stamford: Appleton & Lange, 1994.


PERIODICALS

Chang, T. M., D.C. Chan, Y.C. Liu, S.S. Tsou, and T. H. Chen. "Long-term Results of Duodenectomy with Highly Selective Vagotomy in the Treatment of Complicated Duodenal Ulcers." American Journal of Surgery 181 (April 2001): 372-6.

Gilliam, A. D., W.J. Speake, and D. N. Lobo. "Current Practice of Emergency Vagotomy and Helicobacter Pylori Eradication for Complicated Peptic Ulcer in the United Kingdom." British Journal of Surgery 90 (January 2003): 88-90.

Saindon, C. S., F. Blecha, T.I. Musch, D.A. Morgan, R.J. Fels, and M. J. Kenney. "Effect of Cervical Vagotomy on Sympathetic Nerve Responses to Peripheral Interleukin-1beta." Autonomic Neuroscience 87 (March 2001): 243-8.


ORGANIZATIONS

American College of Surgeons. 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611. (312) 202-5000. http://www.faacs.org .

Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons. 2716 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 3000, Santa Monica, CA 90405. (310) 314-2404. http://www.sages.org .


OTHER

"Laparoscopic Vagotomy." SAGES web center. http://www.sages.org/primarycare/chapter19.html .


Tish Davidson, A.M. Monique Laberge, Ph.D.

WHO PERFORMS THE PROCEDURE AND WHERE IS IT PERFORMED?



Patients who receive vagotomies are most often seen in emergency situations where bleeding and perforated ulcers require immediate intervention. A vagotomy is usually performed by a board-certified surgeon, either a general surgeon who specializes in gastrointestinal surgery or a gastrointestinal endoscopic surgeon. The procedure is performed in a hospital setting.

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE DOCTOR



  • What are the possible complications involved in vagotomy surgery?
  • What surgical preparation is needed?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • How is the surgery performed?
  • How long is the hospitalization?
  • How many vagotomies does the surgeon perform in a year?

User Contributions:

S
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Apr 11, 2006 @ 5:17 pm
I suffer from an ulcer that won't go away with normal meds, had for 4 months now. the doctor is considering a thoracoscopic vagotomy. everything i've read on the internet has to do with the old vagotomies where they open you up completely and as this is explained, has a serious recovery time, hospital stay and process. i can't find anything about this procedure the way it's done laproscopically. if anyone can let me know about this, it would be appreciated. the doctor said it's done with the three small incisions in the chest, they snip the nerve, you have a drain in one of the incisions for a day, only in the hospital for a day and then the recovery time is much shorter by weeks, than the 6 weeks i read everywhere. any information that could be provided would be appreciated.
nickybear
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Feb 10, 2008 @ 7:19 pm
i had a vagotomy nerve complete in 1980 and let me tell you it was ruff so far that has caused to much acid and have had more scopes and meds that i would have to really think about it haven't any info about the new way good luck if you need to talk feel free to e-mail me if i can help one person thru all my pain and suffering i hope it will make it all worth it good luck
Kathy
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Dec 4, 2008 @ 9:09 am
I need all the help with information on this. I am having to go to Birmingham,Ala. tomorrow to talk to a surgeon about it. I have had the gastric bypass 6yrs ago and I have coded 17 times 94 transfusion. This past April another ulcer ruptured and I almost didn't make it. I have to have a EGD every 3 months and now I have another one. In all I have 3 anastomosis and they are huge and medication hasn't help and they told me that this was my last hope. I have it in black and white that the surgery I need to remove the rest of the stomach I have a 1 in 3 chances of making it and if I don't then I have 0 chance to live. So you see I am in the last stage for help. My hematologist said if I had cancer,aids or hepatitis he could treat me. I don't know about ya'll's pain but mine is so bad that I have thought of ending it. My Dr. take care of me but also my liver is so damaged that when I had the surgery they let my spleen rupture in me and I was in a coma for 11 days and I have battled for my life every since. I will end and hope someone can give me hope on this procedure.
Jennifer
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Jan 6, 2010 @ 11:23 pm
I am 16 years old and I have Helicobacter Pylori and I currently have 4 ulcers.
I have had two scopes done in the last 9 months. I deal with so much pain
everyday! I can't eat spicy food, period or for that matter I can barley eat anything
without getting acid. For example, I ate one slice of bread and got the worst
acid ever. I have really bad acid reflux, but nothing will help it. I have tried everything!
I have been trying to do research on Ulcers, Helicobacter Pylori, and Acid Reflux
but nothing I find matches up and really doesn't make since to me, If anyone knows more about
this and can help me understand it I would really appreciate it! =)
Chris Busch
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Jan 14, 2010 @ 5:17 pm
I am a 40 yo male who recently had a Highly Selective Vagotomy (5 months ago). I am still in servere lower adom. pain and can't eat anything. I feel close to death at times - after eating I sweat and have the dumping symdrome. I have never felt intense pain like this. My body is going into shock. None of the doctors know what to do. I am on a ton of RX that don't help. I regret having the Vagotomy. I was well before (just had ulcers) and now I am disabled from this condition.

IS THERE A REVERSAL to VAGOTOMY? WOULD A Gastroenterostomy CLOSURE help me? My stomach no longer can digest any food. It's like I have no acid and the food dumps directly into the small intestines.
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Mar 11, 2010 @ 8:08 am
When I was 21 I had a vegotomy because of a perforated ulcer. I am now 49 and have seen so many gastroenterologists over the years that I can't count them all. I have learned to control my diet (smaller meals, no liquid with meals, avoid certain foods), but 2-3 times a year the condition gets severe and I end up in an emergency room.
the symptoms start like this: I start belching a bad tasting and smelling gas that rapidly increases in intensity. Pain in the gut starts and gets more severe, to the point of doubling over. The palms of my hands turn bright red and hives start from there and spread all over. I get very itchy. My blood pressure dramatically increases. I get nausea, sometimes I start vomiting. I end up in the emergency room and they give me a steroid shot that settles it down, sometimes right away, sometimes it takes 15-30 minutes.
My last visit to a gastroenterologist was hopeful in that he gave me a prescription for Levsin. He said that the next time the symptoms start take one of those pills under the tongue and the symptoms will back off.
Well a month ago the symptoms started so I took the pill, but the symptoms kept coming on, so after looking on line for dosage recommendations I took 2 more pills about 2.25 hours later (.125 MG per pill) but the symptoms seem to speed up and I had more pain than ever. The hospital gave me a steroid shot and it settled down.
Here's the thing. I need something to stop those symptoms in their tracks. This summer I'm going to Mexico on a mission trip and I'm scared that it could happen down there and I'd end up dead.

Please help.
JM
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Jun 30, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
I had a highly selective vagotomy performed 22 years ago when I was 35 years old. I had a history of two duodenal bleeds that I successfully recovered from. But disaster struck after I had gone several days without food, was forced to drink large quantities of ice water, was repeatedly slapped in the stomach, and was kept in a shivering state of cold for 48 hours. As a result of those conditions, I developed a perforation that caused peritonitis. Luckily, I got the treatment I needed just before expiring. My stomach was patched and but the physician told me that I needed an HSV performed but I should recover first. So, one year later they reopened my the 10 scar and performed the HSV. I have gone into the full history so that you understand how much trouble I was going through.

The HSV worked. I was in Army Special Forces and I continued to serve in that capacity for another 12 years. For about 10 years I had NO gastric pain at all. I was able to eat foods like pizza, hot dogs, and spaghetti without the heartburn I had experienced all my life. I did have an occasional bout of dumping syndrome that made me woozy for about 20 minutes but that was almost always caused by eating too much starchy food.

After many years an occasional heartburn has returned. It is associated with eating the same foods that used to give me trouble. I take tums when it happens and the burn goes away. These days I must sleep with my head elevated or I get gastric reflux. The bouts of dumping syndrome are very rare.

Much of the success of the HSV has worn off in later years and now, at 57, I am starting to experience what feels like the start of my problems when I was 17. But the HSV allowed me to continue in my high risk profession without any significant side-effects. It allowed me to enjoy a nearly trouble free life for over twenty years. I traveled many places in many countries and made many forays into the wilderness. It wasn't all work. I took my family on several overseas trips, and some of the wilderness trips were for camping, hiking, or hunting. The HSV wasn't painless and it left a big scar but it was well worth it. I am glad I had it done.
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Aug 28, 2010 @ 10:22 pm
i had emergency surgery last monday to repair a perfroated ulcer i didnt even know i had (long stupid story). Anyways all went well and got home from the hospital on friday. i am now just looking for any information the surgery and recovery time ect. it was a full repair job so it was not done laparoscopy but full abdominal.
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Oct 5, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
i UNDER WHEN A VAGOTOMY 39 years ago at age 32. It was an emergency opeartion.I was advised by the medical staff that I had a deseased vagus nerve. I have lived with the side effects since the sugery. according to exrays the surgery involved severing the vagus nerve and cliping the ends ny medal clips. the vagus nerve controls the stomach muscles that are needed to push the food stuff out of the stomach.the results is bloting.
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Nov 7, 2010 @ 7:07 am
it was very ok, i would also like to work on such kind of structure will you pleas guid me.
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Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
18 years ago i had a vagotomy after suffering from duodenal ulcers from 14 years old. So at the age of 36 after trying every kind of treatment there was i asked if i was a good candidate,,

i have not had any side effects or ,any sign of ulcers since...it changed my life...maybe i was lucky
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Jan 4, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
I was sixteen when I was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus way back in 1978. I had a major GI Bleed and prior to that I always had indigestion ever since I was three-four years old. I am not obese and I didn't then and I don't now abuse alcohol. I have never smoked cigarettes. In March 1985 after seven years of endoscopes and biopsies, I was finally told that I needed to have surgery. Clay Phillips MD from Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester NY performed the surgery. It was a long recovery period for me. I had a Nissan Fundoplication along with a highly selective Vagotomy. I suffered from dumping syndrome for about two to three years after but was able to realize what it was I could and could not eat. I took heavy doses of anti-diarrhea medicines. I am now 48 years old and I have not had indigestion since before the night of my surgery back in March 1985. However, after working in surgery and scrubbing on cases and assisting, I learned that vagotomies were not performed anymore unless it is a last resort. Although the vagotomy took away my acid reflux and probably saved me from having esophagus cancer, I was not free of downfalls. I have spent most of the past twenty five years with horrible irritable bowel syndrome, malnutrition, and colitis. These are conditions I did not have prior to the surgery. It is very hard lately because everything I eat turns into diarrhea. I am immune to Imodium and there doesn't seem to be any answer to controlling these problems now that I am just shy of 50 years old. If anyone has been affected in the same way, please let me know. Also please let me know of any medications you may be taking. God bless everyone...I have seen too many people die from cancers of the digestive tract. We are all the lucky ones no matter what our side effects are.
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Apr 22, 2011 @ 11:11 am
Just wanted to say I had a Vagotomy back about 20 years ago and have had some good and some bad results...I was also diagnosed with Celiacs disease about 6 or 7 years later I aam 41 now...I seem to think if I could have been diagnosed with the Celiacs disease first then I could have gotten a handle on my diet and possibly not have needed the Vagotomy at all...Ever since the surgery I have delt with very little acid reflux but other problems have taken it's place...I'm in pretty good shape now but constantly deal with a throbbing on the left side right under my left rib every time I eat or workout or walkup stairs etc...I dont feel fatigued it feels more like somthings constricted in that peticulair area...My stomach now empties really slow...So I take Reglan and it usually helps a bit...I always belch trying to ease the area My Vagotomy was done using Laprascopy and theres a scar right over the top of that area so Ive always wondered if somthing was constricted during the surgery...I deal with dumping I think its called that when I feel light headed, nausea, palpatations...etc..I love bananna's and orange juice but suffer really bad acid reflux from them even with taking Nexium...I don't have any recomendations as what is a perfect treatment...I have found that lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding foods that don't work with your body and consuming foods that do good with your body...And do some kind of exercise and stregnth training...I also take Aloe Vera gel from Vitamin World and it help's as well..I also drink juiced cabbage juice with a little juiced ginger root mixed in...and this has helped a bit...Unfortunately we having these problems want to be normal like other people and we have to remember our health is up to us and not a doctor..Doctors usually are there to help us but our ultimate well being is up to us...I also recomend a relationship with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...This has brought me through much of pain and suffering with my health problems...Just a thought...thanks... Ken
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Jun 30, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
hi just looking up details of the op.i had 1975 in england.i was experiencing terrible pain in the gut area.i had the vagotomy op.got ta tell ya at the time it was a bit hard.but very much well worth the effort.i`ve spent the last 36 years pain free no complications and so glad i did it!
my son had the same thing but it had been discovered ( by a perth doctor (aus)) that it was caused by bacteria helicopacter pyloris and just now takes medication.
hope this is useful!
al
i`m a fit healthy 72 yrs old!
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Jun 30, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
hi just looking up details of the op.i had 1975 in england.i was experiencing terrible pain in the gut area.i had the vagotomy op.got ta tell ya at the time it was a bit hard.but very much well worth the effort.i`ve spent the last 36 years pain free no complications and so glad i did it!
my son had the same thing but it had been discovered ( by a perth doctor (aus)) that it was caused by bacteria helicopacter pyloris and just now takes medication.
hope this is useful!
al
i`m a fit healthy 72 yrs old!
George
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Jul 30, 2011 @ 8:20 pm
I had a vegotomy when i was 27 and 28 years later after having some success i have horrible gastric problems. I went to the doctor and he said I had an abdominal hernia due to the surgeon not sewing my muscles correctly. I have a scar just above my pubic line to the bottom of my breast. Has anybody had the same problems. I now have to have a surgery that is very painful and difficult.
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Nov 6, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
i had a vagotomy in 1973 at the age of 23yrs at the time i was so depressed due to suffering with acid when eating @ drinking, i worked long hours and always had rennies with me , i might tell you i lived on them. my G.P. was against me having the op but i was fed up of suffering and never enjoying a social life as i couldnt drink alc. I have sufferd with dunping synd ever since and in the beginning at times wished i was dead because of the suffering which effected my whole family life .I am taking anti acid medication ( losec ) which are great for reducing acid , i have been taking them since they were introduced in this country it must be 20yrs now . I was told to stop taking them for 2 weeks and had to start taking them again after 1 wk due to acid again but can't do without them now.
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Nov 15, 2011 @ 9:09 am
I notice that all these posts are older. Is there newer information? I am going this week to see a surgeon about having this procedure done. I'm not so sure I want it done because of the side effects.
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Nov 15, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
Hi Linda,

I have tried to reply to your question but it keeps telling me no bad language or the code is wrong.
I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong?
wendy19
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Dec 8, 2011 @ 4:04 am
IM SUPPOSED TO HAVE THIS SURGERY DONE THIS WEEKEND MY SISTER INLAW WHO IS A DR TOLD ME NOT TO GOOGLE THIS AND NOW I KNOW WHY I CANT SEE ME SUFFERING LIKE ALL OF YOU ARE IM SO SORRY THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU ALL DOES ANY ONE HAVE ANY GOOD ADVICE OR NEWS THANKS GOD BLESS WENDY19
warren 59
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Dec 8, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
I had my op in 1981 age 29 years. After 10 years of pain & indigestion, throwing up out of my nose & mouth if I bent down, I had had enough. Prof.Copeland at Royal North Shore, Sydney, performed my op & he told me to try & eat as lightly as possible for as long as I could. I went straight back to work after 3 months, as had 5 kids to support & suffered through it with long periods of hiccups, weight loss (went down to 7.5 stone, previous weight was 10.7 stone) & ended up with a hernia. I am now coming up to 60 & feel fighting fit, eating anything that I want & it's great. I think that the side effects are better than the symtoms & doing nothing about it. Three out of my 5 children who are now in their 30's suffer from some form of stomach problems so it must be an hereditary thing as my mother & father both sufferer & still do from gastric reflux & have to watch everything that they eat.
Derek 64
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May 2, 2012 @ 9:09 am
Whoever is out there thinking of having an vagotomy "DON'T DO IT". I have suffered these last 34years with dumping syndrome associated with all the conditions in which I experience palpitations, sweating, weakness, nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea shortly after eating every meal. Dr said that he was only cutting the nerve that produce the acids, but failed to mention that the procedure also involves removing half of the lower stomach and valve control to the small intestines. Thus food is dumped into the small intestines causing pain after meals, and diarrhoea etc. I have lost lots of weight and have to watch whatever I eat, cannot go outings due to having to be close to toilets. I have diarrhoea everyday about 3 to 4 times a day.
Linda don't do the operation, hope I am not too late warning you. GOD Bless, Derek
Bonnie Newton
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Oct 11, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Do they have specialist in Maryland that do this Surgery. Thanks
Robert
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Feb 4, 2013 @ 5:05 am
Like many of you I had a vagotomy in my 20's due to a perforated stomach caused by ulcers. For 15 years I had dumping syndrome, I'd have to eat child size meals and often got a pain in my left shoulder, 20 minutes after which I'd get excruciating cramps and need to be within 10 seconds of a toilet as my bowel would empty involuntarily. Eventually my doctor suggested I try losec (omeprazole) and within 24 hours I was able to eat, or not eat normally, and toileting became pain free and controllable. I didnt have the helicopacter pyloris by the way.
Now 30 years later I'm having more gastric reflux and have had to stop the omeprazole for 1 week so a 24 hours acid test can check my acid production and oesophagal sphincter operation. Within 36 hours my dumping has returned and I'm dreading the next 6 days before the procedure.
However better to have had the vegotomy as I would have died had I not had it and the partial gastrectomy, and thank heavens for omeprazole!
I wish you all well and hope you find solutions to your particular problems.
marieet
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Oct 3, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
Hello to you all,

I am suffering form Nissen fundo with accidentel injury! PP test came out al compared total vagotomy!!
Fighting this for 3 ,5 years now!! So tired off this!! Please is ther anyone who can offer help maby undo the Nissen..
Desperate..

mariette
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Oct 14, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
I have a vagotomy and a partial gasterectomy in 1991. Never looked back. I was cut from my breast bone to my pubic bone, it was a rough surgery. However, it did me a world of good. I had many ulcers, had I not been in surgery, it's highly likely my stomach would have proforated and I would have not made it. I have RA and have been on steroids and antiflamatories for years, which caused my problems. I was on Losec, Zantac as well as carafate at the time. The pain I had been through for years was over when I woke up after surgery. It was NOT a cake walk, but I believe it saved me. By the way, my surgery was down in a tiny SE Alabama town called Geneva, Al.
I did and do occasionally have the Dumping, and I sometimes need B12. I am now on Nexium, and occasionally Carafate.
Maureen
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Dec 19, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
My boyfriend had a vagotomy, quite a few years ago now, because of very bad ulcers. Since then he has lived with dumping syndrome (pain, sweating, nausea, collapse) and acute pain, which has made it almost impossible for him to work and has impacted negatively on most aspects of his life. Maybe at the time it was the only thing that could have helped him, but you wonder whether it was worth it and why there seems to be no effective help from the medical establishment afterwards. And why is it that social services in the UK don't recognize what a debilitating condition this is?
Kim Nichols
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Jul 4, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
Had the vagotomy on April 17 2014. Took out 20% of my stomach. 3 ulcers from years of aspirin and stress. Got down to 135 pounds. Up to 155 on July 4th. Feel good. Scar sore at times. Had raging heartburn and acid reflux. Food was staying in my stomach 8-10 days. I was getting no nutrition, vitamins or minerals. I am 61 years old and had suffered nearly 10 years. Surgeon was great explained everything thoroughly. In hospital for 7 days. Back to school in 3 weeks. Procedure done on San Angelo Texas.
Jenny
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Jul 7, 2014 @ 3:15 pm
Hi, I had a partial gastrectomy removing 2/3rds of my stomach at 17, then a vagotomy 27 years later. Having the vagotomy was the worst thing I had done as it left me with dumping syndrome,(vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, etc. etc) I then had to have a roux-en-y conversion due to the bile in my stomach and esophagus. At the same time this conversion was done they also repaird a VERY LARGE hiatal hernia. The hernia was caused from all of the vomiting after the vagotomy. Since the vagus nerve is the nerve that goes from the brain to all of our organs it can affect other things too. It has had a big part in my high blood pressure. I am on blood pressure medicine and even with it my blood pressure is all over the place. Worse in the mornings and after meals. I was 17 when this roller coaster started and I am now 70. My body has finally adjusted to my diet and I no longer have any discomfort except for this darn blood pressure problem.
Anyone considering having a vagotomy, think twice and gather all of your facts before hand. Be aware, it is not something that will cure everything and will probably create other problems.

Good luck everyone. Jenny

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