Gastroplasty, also referred to as Vertical Banded Gastroplasty, is a procedure in which the stomach undergoes gastric stapling to reduce its size. This procedure enables an extremely overweight person to feel full quickly, helping him or her to shed weight over a period of time. This procedure is best for those who have tried to lose weight through traditional diet and exercise, but still are unable to shed the weight. Those who have tried weight loss medications prescribed by a physician and have not lost the weight are also candidates for this procedure.
Patients undergoing this procedure have a Body Mass Index rating of 35 or higher, putting them at risk for life threatening problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or sleep apnea. Patients who need to lose 100 pounds or more are also candidates for gastroplasty.
Gastroplasty is a laparoscopic surgery, which means that small incisions are made in the abdominal area and the stomach so that a laparoscope can fit inside to guide the way for surgeons to complete the procedure. A laparoscope is a long tube with a camera attached to the end, and surgeons use this to place the gastric band and staples on the stomach. The procedure is minimally invasive and allows for faster healing and less risks to the patient. The gastric band and staples help form the stomach into a smaller pouch so patients feel full faster, reducing the amount of food they can consume.
The rate at which a patient loses weight varies between individuals. Immediately after surgery, patients will look and weigh the same as they did prior to the procedure, but once the patient gets used to new eating habits and consuming less food (about one ounce at a time), he or she will start to lose weight. Depending on a variety of factors, the patient will begin to lose weight if they follow the doctor's diet and exercise plans, though it generally takes patients 18-24 months to reach their ideal goal weight.
Who Benefits from Gastroplasty?
There are many benefits to weight loss surgery that range from health issues to self-confidence. Those who undergo gastroplasty are taking precautions against ailments common in overweight or obese patients such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Enhanced self-confidence is also a major benefit when undergoing gastroplasty. Many overweight patients have spent an entire life going up and down in weight, feeling self-conscience or depressed. Once they begin to lose the weight, they become more confident and active, which helps with emotional outlook and greater physical health for the future.
How Much Does Gastroplasty Cost?
There are many fees involved with gastroplasty, including consultation fees, surgeon and facility fees, and any medications or other needs the patient will have. In the United States, gastroplasty can cost between $15,000 and $22,000 depending on location, while in India costs range around $7,500 to $16,500, depending on weight, general overall health and location. In Costa Rica, a gastroplasty procedure may cost around $8,900 and in Mexico, around $11,900.
Choosing a Surgeon
Bariatric surgeons usually perform gastroplasty procedures with special training in weight loss surgery. It is very important to find a doctor that has the skills and training to do this procedure successfully and with minimal complications. Be sure to check past procedures, and make sure their certification and documents are current. Check the surgeon's medical history, as well as the facility where the surgery will take place.
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