Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

Vertical banded gastroplasty, or VBG, is also known as stomach stapling. It has been used for decades and is among the older bariatric surgeries. Most VBG surgeries are still open procedures.

The surgeon creates a small pouch using a stapler and closes off the remaining 85% of your original stomach. The surgeon inserts a mesh band or silicone ring to seal off the large part of your stomach from the small pouch. The large pouch is no longer usable.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

Advantages of the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

  • Can be converted to gastric bypass or duodenal switch
  • Reversible
  • Less risk of nutritional deficiencies compared to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Disadvantages of the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

  • Requires a mesh band or silicone elastomer ring to be implanted to form the small stomach pouch
  • Higher vomiting rates than other bariatric procedures
  • Usually performed as an open, not laparoscopic, procedure, leading to higher risk for infections from surgery

Possible Complications/Risks of the VBG

  • Post-surgery vomiting and nausea
  • Dehiscence (splitting of your surgery wounds)
  • Infections from surgery
  • Heartburn


Weight Loss and the VBG

Weight loss after the vertical banded gastroplasty can be less than with other surgeries.

  • About 50% of excess weight lost (EWL)
  • Weight loss tends to plateau after two years
  • Loss of 25% of BMI

The procedure is restrictive.

  • Restrictive: Immediately after surgery, the stomach pouch holds only one tablespoon, or one-half ounce, of food. The smaller stomach size prevents you from eating as much in one meal.