Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Vagotomy is the surgical cutting of the vagus nerve to reduce acid secretion in the stomach.
A vagotomy is a surgical procedure that is performed only in humans. It is resection (removal of, or at least severing) of part of the vagus nerve. It is not to be confused with vasectomy.
A plain vagotomy is a very destructive procedure, since all the parasympathetic supply from the stomach to the left side of the transverse colon relies on the vagus nerves. The gut will still function without vagus supply, but not as well.
Vagotomy technique was therefore improved by restricting resection to only those branches that go to the stomach (selective vagotomy), and further by selecting only those branches that appear to supply peptic cells (highly selective vagotomy).
Humans have two vagus nerves, whose fibres decussate and intermingle around the stomach. Accordingly, a vagotomy operates on both nerves simultaneously and in practice there is no need or way to make a distinction between them.
It's a controversial arena -- the PSA is a marker of prostate bulk and size, but it's highly expressed in benign prostate disease as well as cancer -- so in that context it's not a specific marker.
Find a Qualified Specialist
Looking for a specialist?
Please enter your zip code.