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* * *n.the surgical cutting of any of the branches of the vagus nerve. This is usually performed to reduce secretion of acid and pepsin by the stomach in order to cure a peptic ulcer. Truncal vagotomy is the cutting of the main trunks of the vagus nerve; in selective vagotomy the branches of the nerve to the gall bladder and pancreas are left intact. Highly selective (or proximal) vagotomy is the cutting of the branches of the vagus nerve to the body of the stomach, leaving the branches to the outlet (pylorus) intact: this makes additional surgery to permit emptying of the stomach contents unnecessary. Following surgery, patients may experience postvagotomy diarrhoea after a meal (compare dumping syndrome).
* * *va·got·o·my (va-gotґə-me) [vagus + -tomy ] interruption of the impulses carried by the vagus nerve or nerves.
Medical dictionary. 2011.