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Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG)?
VBG, or stomach stapling, is surgery to make your stomach smaller. This surgery is done to help with weight loss.
What do I need to know before I have VBG?
- You will work closely with a dietitian before and after surgery. Your dietitian will talk to you about nutrition and what you should eat and drink before and after surgery. You may need to follow a very low-calorie diet for several weeks before surgery. This will help you lose some weight before surgery. Weight loss will help your liver handle anesthesia better. It will also help you create healthy nutrition and activity habits.
- Your surgeon will talk to you about self-care and follow-up activities you will need after surgery. You will need to come in often to have your progress checked. Your band may need to be tightened or loosened during each visit.
- If you are a woman of childbearing age, your surgeon will talk to you about pregnancy. He or she may recommend that you do not get pregnant for 12 to 18 months after surgery. Then your pregnancy will be monitored for your safety and the safety of your baby. Your provider will tell you how much weight is safe for you to gain during pregnancy. He or she will help you create healthy meal plans so you get the right nutrition without gaining too much weight. If you want to prevent pregnancy, healthcare providers will help you choose the right kind of birth control. You may not be able to use birth control pills because you will not be able to absorb them fully after surgery.
How do I prepare for surgery?
- Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery and stay with you.
- Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
- Tell your surgeon about all your allergies, including to anesthesia or antibiotics. You may be given an antibiotic to help prevent a bacterial infection.
- You may need a fasting blood test to check your lipid (fat) levels, or other blood tests. Your heart may be checked to make sure it is healthy enough for surgery. You may also need tests to check your digestive system.
- If you have diabetes, healthcare providers will help you schedule meals and medicines before surgery. Your A1c level may also be checked.
- If you currently use tobacco products, you will need to quit before you have surgery. It is best to quit at least 1 year before surgery. You must quit at least 6 weeks before surgery. Talk to your surgeon or other healthcare providers if you need help quitting.
What will happen during surgery?
- You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen. A scope and other medical tools will be put through the incisions.
- 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.
What should I expect after surgery?
- You will be helped to walk around after surgery to help prevent blood clots.
- Medicines may be given to prevent or treat pain, nausea, or a bacterial infection.
- You will sip water or chew on ice chips after surgery when your healthcare provider says it is okay. The next step is to drink clear liquids. Examples of clear liquids are broth, gelatin, and clear juice. You may only be able to eat a few teaspoons of food at the beginning. Stop eating when you feel full, even if you have food left on your plate.
What are the risks of VBG surgery?
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your esophagus or other organs may be damaged during surgery. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot. The gastric band may break, cause a scar, or erode the stomach tissue. The internal staples could break down. Stomach liquid may leak into your abdomen. You may develop gallstones. You may lose weight and then gain it back.
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