Stomach Stapling vs. Gastric Balloon

Stomach Stapling (Vertical Banded Gastrectomy)

A Lighter Me does not recommend the stomach stapling procedure. A gastric sleeve operation is more affordable and often has less complications.

Overview

Vertical banded gastrectomy is one of the oldest forms of surgery for weight loss. It is used to limit the amount of food that can be eaten. It does not alter any part of the digestive process, and none of the stomach is removed. During this procedure, the upper part of the stomach near the esophagus is stapled vertically. This creates a small pouch. The rest of the stomach is then banded, leaving a small opening at the bottom of the small pouch, which opens into the larger portion of the stomach. A mesh or plastic tissue is placed around the small opening to prevent stretching. This process is known as a restrictive surgery because it limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, which causes patients to feel fuller faster. After surgery, most meals must be limited to approximately one ounce. This surgery does not typically cause malnutrition or dumping syndrome. The entire procedure typically lasts between 3 and 4 hours. Vertical banded gastrectomy surgery is reversible, but the procedure to do so is quite complex.

Patient Eligibility

In general, candidates for this procedure will either have a BMI over 40 or a BMI between 35 and 40 plus weight-related health problems. Women who are 80 pounds over their goal weight and men who are 100 pounds over their goal weight are also good candidates for this surgery.

Average Weight Loss Results

On average, most patients are able to lose approximately 50 to 60 percent of their excess body weight after one year. Weight gain can happen easily if the patient does not adhere to consuming very small portions of food and drinks.

Recovery Time

If the surgery is performed laparoscopically, the patient will need to remain in the hospital for 2 or 3 days. If it is performed in an open surgery, then the hospital stay is longer, usually 4 or 5 days. Patients will initially need to follow a liquid diet and gradually move onto thicker liquids and soft foods. After about one month, most patients are able to eat solid foods and return to normal activities.

Common Side Effects

Patients may experience side effects such as reflux, stomal stenosis, incisional hernia, staple-line disruption, intolerance to the band, gastric leak, bleeding, fistulas, pulmonary embolus, and peritonitis. More commonly, side effects such as vomiting can occur if a strict diet is not followed, if food is not chewed properly, or if food is eaten too quickly.

Cost

The average cost of this procedure is $20,000 to $25,000. Insurance may cover a portion of the cost.\

References:
https://obesitynewstoday.com/vertical-banded-gastroplasty/
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gastroenterology/gastric_stapling_restrictive_surgery_procedure_92,p07989

Gastric Balloon (Intragastric Balloon)

A Lighter Me does not recommend the gastric balloon surgery. For a better option, speak with one of our coordinators about a gastric sleeve surgery.

Overview

The intragastric balloon is one of the newer weight-loss procedures that is available for individuals who have tried to lose weight on their own but have not had much success. During this procedure, a silicone balloon that is filled with saline is placed in the patient’s stomach. This balloon makes the patient feel fuller faster, and it also limits how much food can be consumed at one time. It may also slow down the process of the stomach emptying, and it may change hormone levels that control appetite. All of this should contribute to moderate weight loss. The balloon is usually left in the stomach for up to 6 months, and then it is removed through an endoscope.

Patient Eligibility

The ideal candidate for this procedure has a BMI between 30 and 40, is willing to make lifestyle and diet changes, and has not had any type of stomach or esophageal surgery in the past.

Average Weight Loss Results

During the first 6 months after the procedure, patients can expect to lose approximately 10 to 15 percent of their body weight; however, many patients have reported a weight loss of more than 30 percent. The amount of weight loss depends greatly upon the patient’s adherence to diet and lifestyle changes.

Recovery Time

Typically, a liquid diet is required for the first week after the procedure. Soft foods will then be permitted, and after about three weeks, patients are usually able to return to a normal diet and normal activities.

Common Side Effects

About one-third of patients experience pain and nausea for the first few days following the procedure. These side effects can typically be treated with oral medication, and they usually are not very serious.

Cost

This procedure is typically not covered by insurance. Although it varies, the average cost is just above $8,000.

References:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/intragastric-balloon/about/pac-20394435