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Vertical Banded Gastroplasty


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


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your surgery:

Your surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen. A scope and other medical tools will be put through the incision. Your surgeon will use a soft band and staples to make a small stomach pouch. The band is located at the lower part of the pouch and creates a small opening. The opening will allow food to pass into the rest of the stomach. Your surgeon will close your incisions with stitches or staples.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

  • You may need to walk around the same day of surgery or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.
  • Take deep breaths and cough 10 times each hour. This will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath. Then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
  • You will be able to eat and drink gradually after surgery. You will begin with ice chips or clear liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then eat soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.
  • A Foley catheter is a tube put into your bladder to drain urine into a bag. Keep the bag below your waist. This will prevent urine from flowing back into your bladder and causing an infection or other problems. Also, keep the tube free of kinks so the urine will drain properly. Do not pull on the catheter. This can cause pain and bleeding, and may cause the catheter to come out.
  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
    • Antibiotics help prevent infection caused by bacteria.
    • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.


  • You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your esophagus or other organs may be damaged during surgery. The gastric band may break, cause a scar, or erode the stomach tissue. The internal staple line could break down. Stomach liquid may leak into your abdomen. You may develop gallstones. You may lose weight and then gain it back.
  • You may stretch out your stomach pouch if you eat too much, too fast, or do not chew well. This may cause nausea and vomiting. You may have a stomach ache, heartburn, or develop an ulcer. Food that is not chewed well may get stuck in the opening between the small and large stomach pouches. You may not get enough protein and vitamins from your diet. You may get a blood clot in your limb. This may become life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.