When patients need to lose weight but other types of weight loss or weight management have failed, gastric bypass or stomach stapling may be an option. Because this is a life-changing procedure, patients should discuss the benefits and complications with their doctor to determine if this is the right option for them.
Contact our office today to learn more about your options for medical and surgical weight loss procedures and to schedule a free consultation with our expert team.
What is Stomach Stapling?
Stomach stapling, or gastric bypass, is a procedure that has been used to help people reduce their weight when diet and exercise are unsuccessful. For procedures involving stomach stapling, a medical stapler is used to close of the tissue in a way that prevents bleeding.
There are two main types of stomach stapling procedures. In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the surgeon creates a pouch at the top of the stomach. The middle section of the small intestine, known as the jejunum, is then rerouted to connect to the small pouch. This reduces the size of the stomach so the patient can only eat small portions. It also bypasses the first section of the small intestine, called the duodenum. This bypass means that, since food is spending less time in the small intestine, less is being absorbed by the body.
Another type of stomach stapling procedure is gastric sleeve surgery. This procedure is similar in that a large portion of the stomach is stapled so that the person is left with a smaller stomach. However, this procedure does not involve rerouting the small intestines. This procedure reduces the stomach by about 70 percent and also reduces the feeling of hunger.
Who is a Candidate for the Procedure?
Stomach stapling is usually recommended for patients who have a body mass index of 40 or higher, though patients who have a body mass index of 35 but also have a life-threatening condition may also be considered. It is usually only considered after patients have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise or other medical approaches. Your doctor can help you determine if it is right for you.
Benefits of Stomach Stapling
If diet, exercise, and medication has failed in helping a person lose weight, stomach stapling has many benefits. The procedure is relatively quick and only takes about two hours. The procedure allows patients to lose weight at healthy rate. Patients might be able to reduce their intake by about 100 to 200 calories per day, which could result in a loss of up to 50 percent of their body weight in the first year. If healthy habits are maintained, the patient could potentially lose asignificant amount of weight and keep it off for the long-term, although the results are different for everyone. Stomach stapling is often covered by insurance companies, especially if the procedure could be potentially life-saving.
These procedures also force patients to learn how to eat in moderation. If the patient sticks to a recommended diet and eats healthy and balanced meals, the procedure could potentially be reversed in the future.
Preparing for the Procedure
Before the surgery actually takes place, there are some preparations that the patient will need to make. Adopting certain habits such as healthy eating and eating in moderation prior to having the surgery done can improve the patient’s chances for success. The health care team will provide a plan and a timeline that is designed for the patient’s individual needs. It is not uncommon for preparation to take months or even longer.
Once the surgery is scheduled, patients should expect to undergo lab tests and ensure that they have quit smoking in order to provide better opportunity for quick healing. Certain medications may also be restricted. Patients should also take this time ensure that their medical leave is in place.
The day before the surgery, it is imperative that patients follow the recommendations to reduce the risk of any complications. This may include not eating or drinking anything the night before.
Recovering from a Stomach Stapling Procedure
There are several stages of recovery from stomach stapling. Immediately following the surgery, patients will spend a couple of days in the hospital. This allows doctors to evaluate the patient and ensure everything went smoothly. Patients can expect to be put on a liquid diet to allow time for the stomach to heal. It is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully following the procedure, and it helps to have family members available to assist.
Once the patient leaves the hospital, they will need to transition from a liquid diet to solid foods. This usually requires patients to transition to pureed or mashed foods. Apple sauce, pureed meats, and pureed vegetables are usually recommended at this stage. Eventually, the patient can move to solid foods. During the recovery period, patients will be expected to record what they eat and the amount they eat, as over consumption can cause complications. Patients should expect to be able to eat one cup or less of food at each sitting.
It is important to note that while stomach staplingis a weight-loss surgery, it is not a cosmetic surgery. This procedure does not remove any fatty tissue. Patients who undergo this procedure will still need to eat healthy and in moderation in order to achieve and maintain the results that they want. Eating too much can cause the small stomach to stretch over time, allowing the patient to put the weight back on that they lost. If the patient is dedicated to maintaining their healthy diet, they could see great results. Your doctor will be able to provide you with specific instructions for recovery following your procedure.
To learn more about this method of weight loss surgery and other types of weight loss surgeries, contact our office today. Our medical team will be able to look at your weight and current health situation in order to recommend a treatment option that works best for you. You have nothing to lose from our free consultation!