Stomach Stapling and Gastric Banding
by: Bruce Kimball
Although not the most holistic of approaches (ha ha) many people turn to the option of restrictive operations or those operations that make the stomach smaller such as stapling and gastric bands for an answer to losing the excess weight. The surgeries make you full a lot quicker than you are used to and the smaller portion sizes and different foods that you eat after such a procedure help you lose weight. The most common restrictive surgery is called adjustable gastric banding. The surgery involves a small band which is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. The small size of the pouch means that you feel full sooner than before. The band can be adjusted in size by inflating or deflating the band which allows your doctor to adjust the size of the opening between the pouch and the stomach. These procedures can be done by making a large incision in the abdomen (an open procedure) or by laproscopic instruments and a camera to guide the surgery.
Another option is stomach stapling, also called vertical banded gastroplasty, where an incision is made in the abdomen. Surgical staples and a plastic band create a small pouch at the top of the stomach which is not completely closed off from the rest of the stomach. The small opening, about 0.25 inches across, allows the partially digested food to move into the rest of the stomach and then the intestines allowing you to eat only 0.5c up to 1 cup of food.
After the surgery is done, most people return to their normal activities within 3 to 5 weeks. Preliminary studies have shown that gastric banding is associated with a short hospital stay, fast recovery, and low risk of complications. After such operations, you must be careful to chew food well and to stop eating when you feel full which is likely after 1 cup of food is eaten. If you do not chew your food well or do not stop eating soon enough, you may feel discomfort or nausea and may sometimes vomit. If you continually overeat, the pouch may stretch and you will not benefit from your surgery.
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