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Vertical Banded Gastroplasty


Vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG), or stomach stapling, is surgery to make the stomach smaller.



  • Medicines can help decrease pain or prevent an infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Make changes to your eating habits:

You may need to puree your food in a blender or food processor at first. You may feel full after only a few teaspoons of food. In time, your stomach pouch will expand a little bit. Then you should be able to eat about ½ to ¾ cup of food during each meal. You should also be able to eat regular foods. The following will help prevent nausea, heartburn, and a stomach ache:

  • Eat slowly. Chew your food well before you swallow.
  • Eat 3 small meals each day. Do not eat snacks between meals unless your healthcare provider says it is okay. Stop eating when you feel full, even if you have not eaten all of your meal.
  • Do not eat and drink at the same time. Drink liquids between meals. Wait at least 1 or 2 hours after you eat to drink liquids. Good liquids include water, tea, diet drinks, or skim milk.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. You may have trouble eating foods, such as red meat, bread, or rice after surgery. Start with softer meats, such as fish and chicken. Make sure you eat enough protein. Foods higher in protein include poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans. Dairy products, such as yogurt and cottage cheese, are also good sources of protein. A dietitian will work with you to find the right foods to eat.

Care for your wound as directed:

When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. If you have small pieces of medical tape on your incision, they will start to peel and fall of on their own.

Ask when you can return to your daily activities:

You will need to exercise regularly to help with your weight loss. Ask about the best exercise plan for you.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have pain or pressure in your belly or back.
  • You have hiccups and you feel restless.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cough up blood.
  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You have a fast heartbeat that will not slow down.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (Discharge Care)

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