Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
Once the most popular forms of weight loss surgery, vertical banded gastroplasty has since lost favor to more effective alternatives such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the LAP-BAND® System. Still, it may be the best option for some patients who are not good candidates for other bariatric procedures. This procedure is purely a restrictive option, causing weight loss by limiting the amount of food the stomach can contain.
Before undergoing surgery, patients should enroll in a nutrition and fitness counseling program. During counseling, a nutritional expert evaluates patients' dietary habits and educates them about the nutritional modifications that will be necessary after surgery. This may include eating smaller amounts of food, as the stomach's capacity will be diminished by surgery. Some foods must be avoided entirely, while others may be limited. To avoid nutrient deficiencies, patients may be advised to take supplements.
When performing vertical banded gastroplasty, a bariatric surgeon will use staples together with a band to close off most of the stomach, leaving a small pouch for food. Like the pouches created in other bariatric procedures, this pouch severely limits food intake to stimulate weight loss. Vertical banded gastroplasty can be performed as a laparoscopic procedure or a conventional open procedure.
While the support of friends and family members during the healing process and transition to a new way of life is not to be underestimated, patients may also wish to avail themselves of professional assistance. Support groups for bariatric surgery patients are widely available as is professional counseling. Many bariatric surgeons are affiliated with a network of counselors and other experts who can help patients during every step of their journey toward a new lifestyle.
Vertical banded gastroplasty offers many of the advantages shared by other weight loss surgeries. It is an effective way to stimulate weight loss in most patients, and many are able to maintain a lower weight over the long term. Patients who undergo vertical banded gastroplasty are at less risk of the nutritional deficiencies that may affect gastric bypass patients who fail to take their vitamin supplements. In addition, there is no risk of dumping syndrome with vertical banded gastroplasty. This complication sometimes affects gastric bypass patients who eat too fast or who eat certain inappropriate foods, and is characterized by symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, weakness, fatigue, and dizziness. It is largely avoidable through dietary modifications.
Though vertical banded gastroplasty does have certain advantages, it has become less popular in recent years because adjustable gastric banding and gastric bypass are considered superior. The LAP-BAND® system produces comparable weight loss, and is much safer than vertical banded gastroplasty because it does not require any permanent surgical changes to the digestive tract. The LAP-BAND® can also be adjusted after surgery. Meanwhile, gastric bypass surgery produces quicker and more reliable weight loss than vertical banded gastroplasty.
The vertical banded gastroplasty procedure typically costs about $20,000 to $25,000. Patients interested in undergoing this method of weight loss may be interested in applying for insurance coverage of a financing plan to help cover the cost of treatment.
Contact a Bariatric Surgeon Near You to Learn More
If you are interested in learning more about vertical banded gastroplasty or another weight loss procedure, you can use the DocShop database to locate a bariatric surgery practice in your area. The staff at this practice will be able to provide additional information about specific procedures, or to schedule you for a pre-surgical consultation.