Stomach stapling [Gastric Restrictive Surgery]

Stomach stapling surgery also called gastric banding surgery, or gastric restrictive surgery is a type of bariatric weight loss surgery performed to limit the amount of food a person can eat.

It is recommended for individuals with morbid obesity that more conservative measures such as diet, exercise, and medications don’t provide good results.

In this surgery, no part of the stomach is removed. It involves the use of either staples or a band to separate the stomach into two parts. One part of the stomach is a very small pouch that can only hold about one ounce of food. The other part is a larger stomach that is closed-off from the rest of the stomach with the use of staples.

A small opening is left between the two stomach areas so that food from the smaller stomach can move into the larger stomach area. The food from the small stomach empties into the closed-off larger stomach.

Over time, the small stomach can expand to hold two to three ounces of food. The dramatic reduction in the amount of food that the stomach hold leads to a dramatic reduction in the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed into the body which ultimately leads to weight loss over time.

Stomach stapling surgery is recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above.

It is also recommended for individuals with a BMI of 35 and above with conditions such as obesity-related type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or heart disease.

Before the procedure

You will need to visit your doctor. Your doctor will explain all you need to know about the procedure to you. You can ask any questions that you might have about the procedure. Your expectations and results will also be discussed between you and your doctor.

Your doctor will review your medical history and also perform a complete physical examination to ensure you are in good health condition for the procedure.

Your doctor may order blood tests or other diagnostic tests.

You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for eight hours before the procedure, especially after midnight of the day of your procedure.

Inform your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking including herbs, supplements, and prescriptions.

Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, latex, iodine, tape, or anesthetic agents that will be used for the surgery.

Inform your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or any other medications that affect blood clotting. You will generally need to stop taking blood thinners for days before your surgery.

You will need to follow a special diet for several weeks and also engage in exercises before your surgery.

All other preparatory instructions will be given to you by your doctor according to your specific condition.

How the procedure is done

During the procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. An intravenous (IV) line may also be started in your arm or hand. You will be made to lie on your back on an operating table. The surgical site will be thoroughly cleaned with an antiseptic solution.

Your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level will continuously monitor throughout the surgery.

For an open procedure, your surgeon will make a single large incision in your abdominal area to directly access your stomach.

For a laparoscopic procedure, your surgeon will make a series of small incisions on your abdominal area. Carbon dioxide gas will then be used to inflate the abdominal cavity so that your surgeon can easily view your stomach and other organs.

Your surgeon will then create a small stomach pouch and separates it from the other larger part of your stomach using surgical staples.

A small opening is left between the two stomach areas. The small opening allows food to move out of the small pouch into the larger stomach.

Your new stomach pouch can only hold 1 to 2 ounces of food. You get full quickly by eating little.

After the procedure is completed, the incisions will be closed with sutures or surgical staples.

A sterile bandage will be used to dress the surgery site appropriately.

After the surgery

You will be taken to the recovery room for observations. You will be monitored and give pain medications to relieve pain. After a while, you will be asked to move around as much as your strength can take to prevent the formation of blood clots.

You will receive fluids intravenously and then be given liquids such as water and clear fluids after a day or two.

You will be instructed to take nutritional supplements to replace lost nutrients.

You may remain in the hospital for a few days until you’re fit to go home. You will need someone to drive you back home.

You will need to follow a specific dietary plan until your stomach gets healed.

You can slowly begin soft exercises after a month. Keep to healthy eating habits and engage in regular exercises to help increase weight loss. Eat little portions of foods and chew your foods thoroughly before swallowing.

Follow all other instructions given to you by your doctor and take your medications accordingly.


Obesity is a condition that can lead to severe medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, etc.

Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment option for dramatic and long-lasting weight loss in individuals that are obese.

Undergoing this weight loss surgery helps to improve or eliminate obesity-related conditions.

It also helps to:

  • Manage or improve low blood sugar
  • Manage or improve low blood pressure
  • Improve or eliminate sleep apnea
  • Reduce the workload of the heart
  • Improve low cholesterol levels
  • Decrease risk of certain cancers
  • Improve mobility
  • Decrease joint pain

Other benefits include:

  • Feeling more confident and happy about your appearance
  • Ability to engage in activities with ease
  • Your clothes look better on you
  • Increase metabolism and energy
  • Increased health and wellness

What are the risks of stomach stapling?

After undergoing gastric stapling surgery, you should eat only about three-quarters to one cup of food. Ensure you chew foods very well. If you eat more than your stomach pouch can hold, it may result in nausea and vomiting.

Stomach stapling poses fewer risks than gastric bypass procedures. However, as with any surgical procedure, complications may occur.

Some possible complications that may occur include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Pneumonia
  • Bleeding ulcer
  • Gallstones
  • Obstruction or nausea
  • Poor nutrition
  • Scarring inside the abdomen
  • Breakdown of the line of staples
  • Erosion of the band
  • Leakage of stomach juices into the abdomen
  • Enlargement of the stomach pouch
  • Vomiting

Does stomach stapling work?

The average weight loss after one year of the procedure is about 50 percent of your excess body weight.

Newer bariatric weight loss procedures can provide up to 80 percent weight loss of your excess body weight in a year.

Also, once you’ve lost weight after stomach stapling surgery, you may find it difficult to keep your new weight. This is because your stomach pouch can get bigger over time and you will begin to eat more and more.

Since your stomach is bigger, you will be eating more before you feel full. This will cause your body to absorb more calories and you will begin to gain weight again.

Stomach stapling is effective if you can discipline yourself to eat very little amount of healthy foods and also engage in regular exercises.

Does Bariatric Surgery [ stomach stapling ] shorten your life?

No, instead bariatric surgery increases your lifespan. According to a study, bariatric surgery can reduce your risk of death by 40 percent.

Is stomach stapling covered by insurance?

Most bariatric surgery is for medical reasons. Bariatric surgeries are generally expensive and are mostly covered by insurance.

However, coverage varies by insurance companies. There are some criteria that must be met. These include:

  • Patients should have BMI of 40 and above
  • Patients should have BMI of over 35 with at least one obesity-related condition
  • inability to lose weight with diet, exercise, or medication

Patients with BMI of less than 35 are unlikely to be covered by insurance.

Check with your insurance company to know if your insurance policy covers stomach stapling surgery.

How much does it cost to have your stomach stapled?

The cost of stomach stapling surgery largely varies depending on the location, provider, and other related expenses. The surgeon fee, facility fee, anesthetic fee,

The cost could range from $15,000 to $35,000. Talk with your surgeon to know the exact cost before undergoing the surgery.

Stomach stapling [Gastric Restrictive Surgery]

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