Stomach stapling (also referred to as gastric band surgery or gastric stapling surgery) is a means for people to reduce their appetites, by way of banding the stomach so it is divided into two sections. When the stomach is isolated into two sections, a person’s intake for food drastically decreases. This method for weight loss is specifically effective in obese patients who have not seen results from other surgical or nonsurgical means of losing weight. This surgery is mostly done for only the most extreme cases.
Not all people who want to lose weight are feasible candidates for the procedure. Viable applicants of bariatric surgery are those who have a BMI (body mass index) over 40, women 80 pounds or more over their desired weight, men who are 100 pounds or more over their desired weight, or people who have a BMI of 35 with accompanying weight-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea.
For the people who qualify for such a procedure, benefits are life-changing and remarkable. Many patients have reached their health goals with this extreme surgery, some of which include lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, reduction in sleep apnea, decreased stress levels on the heart, lower cholesterol levels, and of course, weight loss. There are three variations of the surgery that offer different results for different people’s needs. They include:
- Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB) – This procedure includes affixing an flexible band around the top portion of the stomach and proceeding to tighten it, much like a belt. This in turn forms a small pouch, which acts as the “new stomach” and drains into the second section of the stomach.
- Vertical Banded Gastroplasty – This procedure employs a method that uses both staples and banding. It also creates a pouch, which acts as the new stomach, with a small opening that leads the food into the second section of the stomach.
- Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – This procedure only uses staples to actually remove a section of the stomach. This surgery is irreversible, but very effective.
After having one of the surgeries, stomachs of patients are only able to hold about three-quarters to one cup of food, all of which must be chewed thoroughly. If one happens to eat more than the stomach allows, they will experience nausea and vomiting. As one would expect from such a drastic procedure, it is not without its dangers and side effects; some of which include (but are not limited to) blood clots, infection, pneumonia, bleeding ulcers, gallstones, nausea, poor nutrition, scarring, vomiting, and leakage of stomach fluid.
Because the side effects from this procedure can be extremely dangerous, the decision to have stomach stapling done must be thoroughly analyzed, with the long-term benefits greatly outweighing the costs and dangers. Basically, unless you are at a high risk for dying without the procedure, then it’s not going to be a viable option for you.