Karen Kassel, MS, RD, MEd
Vertical banded gastroplasty is surgery to treat
obesity. It causes weight loss by decreasing the amount of food you can eat.
The surgery treats severe obesity. A calculation called body mass index (
BMI) is used to determine how overweight or obese you are. A normal BMI is 18.5-25.
This surgery is a weight loss option for people with:
The success of vertical banded gastroplasty depends on your commitment. If lifestyle changes are made and maintained, the benefits of bariatric surgery include:
If you are planning to have gastroplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Long-term complications include vomiting and gallstones.
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:
Before the procedure, you may have the following:
Leading up to your procedure:
will be used. You will be asleep for the surgery.
To prepare you for surgery, an IV will be placed in your arm. You may receive fluids and medications through this line during the procedure. A breathing tube will be placed through your mouth and into your throat. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
begins with several small cuts made in the abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen. This will make it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor in the operating room. Your doctor will operate while viewing the area on this monitor.
Surgical staples will be used to divide your stomach into two unequal portions. The upper portion will be a small pouch. It will empty through a tiny opening into the lower portion. The small pouch can hold only ½ to 1 cup of soft, moist, and well-chewed food. A normal stomach can hold 4-6 cups.
Next, a plastic band will be wrapped around the tiny opening. This will prevent it from stretching. This band can be adjusted after surgery. The incisions will then be closed with staples or stitches.
The breathing tube will be removed. You will be taken to the recovery area.
About 2 hours
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
You will be in the hospital for 2-5 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer, however, if complications arise.
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may receive the following care:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
instructions. You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. After your surgery:
Your new stomach is the size of a small egg. It is slow to empty. This will make you feel full quickly. Nutritional steps include:
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Weight Control Information Network
Canadian Obesity Network
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 3, 2014. Accessed December 4, 2014.
Bariatric surgery for severe obesity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gastric.htm. Updated June 2011. Accessed December 4, 2014.
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Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
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