Stomach stapling or Vertical banded gastroplasty surgery as it is properly called, is becoming a bit of a short cut method for many, if absolute numbers are anything to go by.

A hundred thousand individuals have the stomach stapling surgery performed in one year in the United States alone. The high numbers indicate that there are those who want the easy road to weight loss; who may be going in for this surgery.

Stomach stapling is a procedure that creates a small pouch of the stomach which restricts the amount that one can eat at any given time.

It also makes the person feel satiated and full with very small quantities of food; thereby making the person’s calorie intake decrease drastically.

What stomach stapling also does is, it slows the passage of food through the digestive system, making the person feel full for longer.

Anyone considering this operation would need to keep in mind the following:

  • The stomach stapling surgery actually requires the staples to cut into the stomach creating staple lines.
  • This is a very serious and dangerous operation. Stomach stapling has been classified by the AMA as “severely dangerous”.
  • Getting the surgery done isn’t any guarantee that weight loss will ensue; or that lost weight will not come back. Sometimes the aim of this surgery; that is weight loss, is negated by people’s non compliance with a healthy diet. It is important that lifestyle changes are also made in order that the procedure can be deemed to be successful.
  • Sometimes people are unable to eat healthier, since high fiber foods with denser consistencies are found to be difficult to digest by those who have had stomach stapling done. It is in fact easier for individuals to digest refined or highly processed foods after the surgery.
  • It is also important to eat food slowly and swallowing it only after chewing it properly. A failure to do so results in pain, discomfort and vomiting.
  • This is not an adjustable procedure; one cannot get the surgery done and then adjust the size of the pouch or the tightness of the stapling. Nor is it something that can be reversed without another major surgery.
  • The risk of the surgery such as pneumonia and pulmonary embolism in the case of morbidly obese individuals should also be understood fully.

It is important to understand that stomach stapling is not a cosmetic procedure; it isn’t something that you undergo for wanting to look better.

It may be that the well publicized success stories of those who have had the procedure done are seen as inspiring; however it is important to understand who may be a likely candidate for stomach stapling:

  • Someone who is morbidly obese (100 or more overweight)
  • Someone who has some other obesity related, life threatening problem
  • Someone who has tried everything possible including a healthy diet and exercising and has still been unable to lose the excess weight. Stomach stapling should be a Last Resort; Not a First Response!