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Vertical banded gastroplasty

The more common name for this procedure is “stomach stapling.” Vertical banded gastroplasty was once surgeons’ preferred procedure for patients who needed weight loss surgery. However, the procedure has since fallen out of favor in the wake of other techniques with faster and more significant results as well as fewer potential complications and side effects. It is always best to consult with your doctor to determine which procedure is right for you. Please visit the Contact Us page to learn how you can find a highly qualified, Center of Excellence surgeon in your area.

Description of the procedure

The procedure is similar to gastric bypass in that it divides the stomach into two sections. The upper section, near the esophagus, is bordered on one side by a vertical wall of staples and on the bottom by a band. Like gastric bypass, vertical banded gastroplasty also reduces the amount of food that can be consumed because of the decreased size of the “upper stomach.” Specifically, this top pouch will only hold about a tablespoon of food, which will cause the patient to feel full sooner, and, by extension, significantly reduce the patient’s daily caloric intake. Unlike gastric bypass, however, the food is not redirected into the intestines via a bypass. Instead, the digestive system remains intact, and the food falls directly from the upper pouch into the lower pouch.


  • The digestive system remains intact, allowing all nutrients to be absorbed through the same process.
  • Though there is some risk associated with it, the procedure can be reversed.
  • Patients do not suffer from rapid gastric emptying – also called “dumping syndrome”. This occurs when undigested food is directed to your small intestine prematurely, and can cause nausea and abdominal cramping.


  • If the staple line is disrupted, leakage or infection may result. This may, in turn, require further hospitalization or surgery.
  • This procedure does not always help the patient to reach their weight loss goals, and, for this reason, has fallen out of favor with many surgeons.
  • Patients often have difficulty complying with the appropriate dietary guidelines and necessary behavioral changes. For example, if food is consumed too quickly or not properly chewed, side effects like vomiting, severe discomfort, and heartburn can occur.
  • Unlike the Lap-Band® procedure, results cannot be adjusted following vertical banded gastroplasty without further surgery.

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