Vertical Banded Gastroplasty—Open Surgery
(Stomach Stapling; Bariatric Surgery; Weight-Reduction Surgery)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Vertical banded gastroplasty, also called stomach stapling, is surgery to divide the stomach into two parts.
There are many types of weight loss surgery. This option is not done as often, but still may be used on some people.
Reasons for Procedure
This surgery is done to make the size of the stomach smaller. This will make a person feel full quickly. It will promote weight loss in people who are severely obese. It is done when other methods have not been helpful.
In addition to helping a person lose weight, this surgery may also:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The bariatric surgery team will meet with you to talk about:
You will be given general anesthesia. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
A large inch incision will be made to open the abdomen. Surgical staples will be used to divide your stomach into two unequal parts. The upper portion will be a small pouch. The small pouch can hold only ½ to 1 cup of soft, moist, and well-chewed food. A normal stomach can hold 4 to 6 cups. The pouch will empty through a tiny opening into the lower portion. A plastic band will be wrapped around the tiny opening. It will prevent it from stretching. This band can be adjusted after surgery. The incisions will be closed with stiches or staples. Bandages will be placed over the area.
How Long Will It Take?
About 2 hours
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help.
Average Hospital Stay
You will be in the hospital for 2 to 5 days. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
After the procedure, the staff may:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
It will take a few weeks for the incision and muscles to fully heal. Physical activity will be limited during this time. You will need to ask for help at home and delay your return to work.
Dietary changes, regular exercise, and counseling will need to be part of your recovery and lifelong weight loss plan.
Problems to Look Out For
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Accessed September 27, 2021.
Bariatric surgery in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/bariatric-surgery-in-adults. Accessed September 27, 2021.
Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/bariatric-surgery. Accessed September 27, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 9/28/2021
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