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Stomach Stapling Surgery

What is Stomach Stapling?


Stomach stapling, a type of restrictive surgery, is a form of bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) because it reduces the size of a person’s stomach and leads to the restriction of the amount of food intake. It is a major form of surgical procedure that most obese people undergo. It is also known as vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) or gastric banding surgery.

Stomach stapling is a treatment for people who want to lessen or limit their consumption of food and also for those who are morbidly obese. It is the type of surgery for people who have tried losing weight via exercise and diet.

Stomach Stapling Picture

Why Is It Done?

For some, it is the ideal surgical treatment that will help prevent over-consumption of food and reduce their weight in an effective manner. After the surgical procedure, food that is eaten bypasses directly into the small intestine, hence, decreasing absorption of nutrients and calories. As a result, the person’s food addiction is controlled to an extent. Furthermore, he or she will find it easier to maintain a proper diet and exercise plan. Other reasons why people undergo stomach stapling are as follows:

  • People who suffer from obesity-related disease like sleep apnea, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • People who are over their ideal weight
  • People who have a BMI that is greater than 40


During stomach stapling surgery, the surgeon will fit a band, similar to an adjustable band but without the adjustment capabilities, on the topmost portion of the person’s stomach and use staples to staple the stomach in order to create a small pouch to hold food. Moreover, when stomach stapling is done with staples, there is a lower risk of failure compared to the lap band form of surgery.

In stomach stapling surgery, a small hole is made at the base of the surgically created stomach which allows food to flow slowly towards the lower portion of the stomach for intestinal processing. At times, the stomach stapling procedure is combined with the gastric bypass surgical procedure. In these cases, a connection is created between the upper pouch and the lower intestine, allowing food  to bypass the lower stomach.

Types of Stomach Stapling

There are three types of stomach stapling surgical procedures that are performed:

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG)

This kind of stomach stapling procedure uses stables to remove a large portion of the person’s stomach; the remaining stomach “sleeve” will hold approximately one quarter cup of liquid. The disadvantage is that this surgical procedure is irreversible in nature since it involves the removal of the stomach.

Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB)

This is another type of stomach stapling that involves attaching an inflatable band at the topmost part of the stomach and tightening it like a belt to to form a pouch which will become the smaller stomach. After this surgical procedure, the band’s diameter can be medically adjusted by a licensed physician by adding or removing salt water. The good news is that there is no usage of staples.

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VGB)

This type of stomach stapling combines the use of a band and staples to create a new stomach pouch. This surgical procedure also uses a plastic mesh or tissue which is wrapped around the stomach opening to prevent it from stretching. After this surgical procedure, it has been observed that the patient loses about 50-60 percent of excess body weight.

Side Effects & Risks (Complications)

Just like any surgical operation, the stomach stapling surgical procedure has also its side effects and risks. The following are some of the side effects and risks that are associated with the stomach stapling procedure:

  • Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
  • Possible development of hernia (due to incision)
  • Kidney or gallstones
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Depression
  • Blood clotting in the legs or lungs
  • Gastritis
  • Infection in the area of incision
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pneumonia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hiccups
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Bloating

One must be informed of the side effects and complications of stomach stapling in order to balance the benefits of the surgical procedure with its known risks.

How much does Stomach Stapling Cost?

This is the primary concern when one opts for stomach stapling. The cost of stomach stapling will greatly depend on the type of surgical method, anesthesia fees, professional fees of the surgeon and medical team who are part of the surgical procedure (e.g., nurses and anesthesiologist), surgical location, post-surgical diagnosis and care, as well as the administrative costs and the like.  The stomach stapling procedure generally costs as much as $20,000 to $55,000. It would be advisable to explore and research the total cost of stomach stapling, to compare prices for it varies from institution to institution and from place to place, and to determine if this kind of surgical procedure fits one’s budget.


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