The stomach is the digestive organ located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upper part of the stomach connects to the oesophagus, and the lower part leads into the small intestine. The stomach begins the process of digesting food, which continues in the small intestine. Surgery is performed to help people lose weight, as well as to treat disorders and diseases of the stomach. Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, can develop in any part of the stomach and spread to other organs. Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer detected early. It involves removal of part or all of the stomach. Stomach surgery may be carried out with minimally invasive laparoscopic (‘keyhole’) procedures, in which a variety of tubes and long, narrow instruments can be inserted through incisions in the abdominal wall. Weight loss surgery includes a variety of procedures, with the main aim being to reduce the size of the stomach to help achieve long-term weight loss. Three key procedures are: reducing the size of the stomach with an implanted band (gastric banding); removing part of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion); or redirecting the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass).
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