Stomach Stapling (Gastroplasty)

Stomach stapling is a popular term for vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG). It is surgical technique for managing morbid obesity.

In the stomach stapling operation, surgical staples are inserted into the stomach to form a pouch. The pouch limits the amount of food a patient can eat at one time and slows passage of the food onto the gastrointestinal tract.

The resulting small stomach or pouch is only 5-10% the size of the old stomach and holds less food. The other part of the stomach is about the size of a golf ball as opposed to a normal stomach size.

The small stomach pouch may at times hold only 2-3 tablespoons of chewed food. This makes the patient feel full more quickly.

An opening is made from the small stomach to the small intestines. The opening can be about the size of a dime. Since the opening is small, food empties slowly hence the sensation of being full.

This sensation of being satisfied lasts longer that the situation was before the stapling. That is the aim of the gastric reduction surgery; creating the sensation that being full,comfortable and satisfied. One may feel ill when more than what the pouch can accommodate is eaten.

Stomach stapling is more effective when combined with a malabsorptive technique, in which part of the digestive tract is bypassed, reducing the absorption of calories and nutrients.

Combined restrictive and malabsorptive technique are called gastric bypass techniques, of which Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RGB) is the most common.

In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery technique, staples are used to form a pouch that is connected to the small intestine, bypassing the lower stomach, the duodenum, and the first portion of the jejunum.

Stomach stapling is a serious weight loss surgical procedure. It should only be performed on severely obese patients who have been unable to lose weight by traditional methods such as dieting and exercise.

People who can be considered for surgery include those with body mass index of 40 or those who are obese and have a significant ailments such as diabetes or high blood pressure which could be improved if they lost weight.

The pouch is designed to be permanent. It is however reversible. No part of the stomach other tissues are removed during the operation. Apart from the creation of the small pouch there is no significant change in the gastrointestinal tract.

Despite the stapling, the stomach can be stretched by habits such as continuously eating excess food. This can lead to the patient regaining weight. If the staples break, a major surgery may be needed.

The operation should be accompanied by the eating habits that include the selection of nutritious foods and the proper spacing of meals for better results.

Benefits of Stomach Stapling

  • Significant weight reduction
  • Better health
  • Improved longevity
  • Psychosocial adjustment
  • Procedure is reversible
  • Unaltered Digestive anatomy
  • No serious complications are likely
  • Reduced health problems

    Risks of Stomach Stapling

  • Breakage of staples
  • Vomiting if food is not properly chewed
  • Vitamin deficiency and anaemia
  • Heartburn
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hernia Staples pulling loose
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Diarrhoea
  • Leaking from the stomach into the abdominal cavity
  • Blockage of blood flow within the lungs (Pulmonary embolism)
  • Gallstones
  • Bloating
  • Infection in the incision area
  • Death in 1.5% of cases
  • Discomfort

  • Gastric Bypass Surgery

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