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Gastric Plication

Great Surgical Care at Marina del Rey Hospital

Guide from Marina Weight Loss Center



Why Choose Marina del Rey Hospital for Gastric Plication Surgery?

With years of thorough medical training and a solid practice experience, the bariatric surgeons at Marina Del Rey Hospital specialize in performing gastric plication surgery with the aid of the latest technology, whose aim is to promote a faster recovery and a shorter hospitalization time. Our bariatric specialists will conduct a complete evaluation to ensure you are a good candidate for this surgical treatment and, in the event it could entail even the slightest risk, they will either come up with a personalized diet plan for you to follow prior to surgery or recommend you a more effective weight loss procedure by taking into consideration the particularities of your case. Because we are aware that every person is different and thereby requires a unique approach, we focus on finding individualized treatments for each of our patients.

The experienced and compassionate team of specialists at our bariatric center will also ensure you receive adequate postoperative care following your gastric plication surgery so that your recovery will go as smoothly as possible. We will provide you with a comfortable and warm environment until you are well enough to leave the hospital, while our bariatric surgeons will compile a special diet plan for you to comply with after the procedure, as changing your eating habits and lifestyle is without a doubt the most important step of the treatment.

Also known as laparoscopic gastric greater curvature plication and gastric imbrication, gastric plication surgery is a relatively new, minimally invasive surgical bariatric treatment which entails the reduction of the size of the stomach by folding it. The volume of the organ will decrease by approximately 75%, which will lead to the patient feeling full quicker after eating a meal and, naturally, to significant weight loss. Since the anatomy of the digestive system is not altered, the procedure is reversible. A 2015 study found that patients lose nearly 58% of their excess weight during the first year after the surgery, whereas 68% of excess weight will disappear within six years following gastric plication as long as people who underwent it follow the adequate diet.

The bariatric surgeons at Marina del Rey Hospital perform gastric plication surgery exclusively with the aid of the laparoscope, which promotes a faster recovery and implies a lower rate of postoperative risks and complications. In general, people with a BMI (body mass index) of over 30 qualify for this surgical treatment.

As it is required before any surgery, you will have to undergo a series of tests and medical examinations to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for gastric plication. This way, the bariatric specialist will know with certainty if the procedure you intend to have involves any serious risks. Some of the tests you will be asked to go through are:

  • echocardiogram
  • blood tests such as blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, electrolytes, and a complete blood count
  • a chest X-ray
  • pulmonary function tests
  • electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • sleep tests
  • abdominal ultrasound
  • upper endoscopy
  • evaluation and clearance by a registered dietitian
  • evaluation and clearance by cardiologist or heart specialist
  • evaluation and clearance by mental health care professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist

Once you are deemed eligible for surgery, the date of the procedure will be set and you will receive the instructions you will have to follow prior to your gastric plication. You might be advised to avoid consuming certain foods 2 weeks before the procedure so as to reduce the amount of fat around your spleen and liver, which could otherwise put you at high risk for postoperative complications. It is essential to follow the instruction given to you by your bariatric doctor, as failing to do so might result in your gastric plication surgery being cancelled. You should not consume any food or drink any liquids at least 12 hours before the surgery, as your stomach must be empty during it.

It is also recommended to take care of the following aspects prior to the day of your gastric plication:

  • have someone to take you from the hospital on the day you are released
  • arrange for someone to take care of your pets and children while you are in the hospital
  • ask your doctor to fill out the prescription for the medication you will need after the surgery before it takes place so that you will not need to worry about it while you are recovering
  • if possible, have a family member or friend be with you 24/7 during the first week after your gastric plication, as you will most likely not be able to take care of everything on your own
  • make sure you take one or two weeks off work, as you will need to rest after the procedure

When gastric plication surgery is to take place, you will first be administered general anesthesia and have a bariatric nurse constantly by your side, monitoring your vital signs while the procedure is ongoing. Once you are asleep and numb, the surgeon will make five to seven small incisions in your abdomen, through which they will insert the laparoscope and other medical instruments to carry out the process. They will proceed to sew one or several large folds in your stomach with the purpose of shrinking the size of the organ. Because no portion of your stomach is resected and the anatomy of your digestive systems does not undergo any changes, the procedure is reversible. Your new stomach volume will be roughly 3 ounces. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon carefully closes your incisions with sutures and covers each of them with a sterile dressing. The duration of gastric plication surgery varies between 40 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the complexity of each case.

Although new as a bariatric surgical treatment, studies reveal that gastric plication implies numerous advantages for the patients who undergo it. In addition to being minimally invasive and completely reversible, it has the following benefits:

  • unlike gastric bypass, it implies a very low risk of resulting in nutrient deficiency, because it is not a malabsorptive procedure
  • it causes significant loss of appetite, since the stomach is smaller, which will lead to considerable weight loss over time
  • unlike lap band surgery, it does not involve inserting any foreign object in the body
  • it does not require further adjustments, in contrast with lap band surgery
  • unlike gastric bypass, the surgery does not entail re-routing the small intestine, which places the patient at lower risk for complications in the long run
  • it improves or even cures health issues associated with obesity, such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and depression in 75% of patients
  • while you should be very mindful with regard to your eating habits following surgery, it is a lower-maintenance bariatric procedure than lap band surgery and gastric bypass

Following gastric plication surgery, you will have to spend 24 to 48 hours in the hospital, supposing no complications appear. You can return to work within 7 to 10 days, depending on how your recovery is going and the extent of physical effort your job implies. However, certain individuals may require a longer recovery period. To prevent blood clots, you will be encouraged to walk as soon as the effects of the anesthetic wear off. For pain management, your bariatric doctor will prescribe pain relievers, which will help you navigate the first – and the toughest – week of recovery.

The most important aspect you should pay attention to after gastric plication surgery is your diet. For the procedure to be successful and result in the desired weight loss, you should strictly adhere to the meal plan compiled by your bariatric doctor, which is a lifelong commitment. You will be explained every aspect of your recovery and of your new lifestyle, as well as be provided with everything you need upon leaving the hospital.

Gastric plication surgery is generally associated with low risks, which affect between 1% and 9% of patients. Some of the most common postoperative risks and complications are:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • leaks from sutured areas
  • stomach expansion over time
  • wound infection
  • a fold that is too tight
  • separation of stitched areas
  • blockage of the stomach from swelling

It is also worthy of note that gastric plication surgery is not covered by insurance in the U.S. at the moment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gastric Plication

It is possible to regain weight after this procedure if you don’t follow your doctor’s postoperative guidelines.

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Patients are normally able to return to work several weeks after they have a gastric plication surgery.

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