To prepare you for surgery, a nurse will place an IV line in your arm. You may receive fluids and medicines through this line during the procedure. The doctor will place a breathing tube through your mouth and into your throat. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
The doctor will make an 8-10 inch incision to open the abdomen. Surgical staples will be used to divide your stomach into two unequal portions. The upper portion will be a small pouch. It will empty through a tiny opening into the lower portion. The small pouch can hold only ½ to 1 cup of soft, moist, and well-chewed food. A normal stomach can hold 4-6 cups.
Next, a plastic band will be wrapped around the tiny opening. This will prevent it from stretching. This band can be adjusted after surgery. The incisions will then be closed with staples or stitches.
The breathing tube will be removed. You will be taken to the recovery area.
How Long Will It Take?
About two hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. You may have pain and/or soreness at the incision sites. Your doctor can give you pain medicine to relieve the discomfort.
Average Hospital Stay
You will be in the hospital for 2-5 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer, however, if complications arise.
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may receive the following care:
Pain medicine will be given as needed.
Day of surgery—You will not eat or drink anything.
Day after surgery—You will likely have an
to check for leaks from the stomach pouch. You will drink a special liquid while x-rays are taken.
If this x-ray is normal, you will be given 30 milliliters (mL) of liquids every 20 minutes.
If leaks are found, you will receive nutrition through an IV until the leaks are fixed.
On the second day after surgery—You will have1-2 tablespoons of pureed food or 1-2 ounces of liquids every 20 minutes.
You may be asked to do the following:
to take deep breaths every hour to prevent breathing problems.
Wear elastic surgical stockings or boots to promote blood flow in your legs.
Get up and walk in the hall daily.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
instructions. You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. Keep in mind after your surgery:
You may be out of work for 2-6 weeks after surgery.
Do not drive or lift anything heavy for at least two weeks.
You should walk as soon as possible, with a goal of exercising daily.
You may have emotional ups and downs after this surgery.
You will meet regularly with your healthcare team for monitoring and support.
Your new stomach is the size of a small egg. It is slow to empty. This will make you feel full quickly. Nutritional steps include:
You need to eat very small amounts and eat very slowly.
You will begin with 4-6 small meals per day. A meal is two ounces of food.
For the first 4-6 weeks after surgery, all food must be pureed.
Once you move to solid foods, food must be well-chewed.
When making food choices, ensure that you are getting adequate protein.
Eating too much or too quickly can cause vomiting or intense pain under your breastbone. Most people quickly learn how much food they can eat.
This procedure does not cause nausea and
if sweet or fatty foods are eaten. In fact, some people gain back weight because they continue to consume soda, ice cream, or other high-calorie foods. To promote ongoing weight loss, avoid high-calorie foods.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
You may need to take medicines, as directed by your doctor, which may include:
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
Blood in the stool
Pain, burning, urgency, or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
Gastrointestinal surgery for severe obesity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gastric.htm. Published December 2004. Updated March 2008. Accessed July 19, 2008.
Kendrick ML, Dakin GF. Surgical approaches to obesity.
Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81(10 Suppl):S18-24.
Olbers T, Bjorkman S, Lindroos A, et al. Body composition, dietary intake, and energy expenditure after laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass and laparoscopic vertical banded gastroplasty: a randomized clinical trial.
Ann Surg. 2006;244:715-722.
¹9/2/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance:
The Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) Consortium. Perioperative safety in the longitudinal assessment of bariatric surgery.
N Engl J Med.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a