What is gastric plication?
Like gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, gastric plication is a restrictive bariatric (weight loss) procedure. It is considered to be a treatment option for patients with a BMI of greater than 35 and is performed as a single surgical procedure. The surgeon reduces the volume of the stomach by creating a small, sleeve-shaped pouch along the length of the stomach by inverting part of the stomach and stitching to secure the pouch. This surgery is reversible as stitches can be removed within the first few weeks following the procedure. After this point, though possible, reversal would be very difficult. The intention is for surgery to be permanent, therefore a decision to proceed is a lifelong commitment to the diet and lifestyle changes required for successful long-term outcomes.
One of the benefits of gastric plication is that it achieves restriction of both foods and fluids.
What happens after surgery?
Immediately following surgery there is a need to restrict the consistency and type of foods that can be consumed due to the presence of swelling along the suture line in the stomach. It is important that only liquids are consumed for the first two weeks to allow surgical swelling to settle before putting the pouch under any pressure.
The new smaller stomach subsequently has a decreased holding capacity to store anything that you eat or drink. This means you won’t be able to eat large volumes of food or drink large volumes of liquid. You will feel full quickly (after a few teaspoons initially) and your appetite should have decreased. As the body adjusts and swelling settles there will be some give, allowing for a little more food and drink to be consumed.
Who is gastric plication suitable for?
The gastric plication generally suits individuals who have a history of eating large portion sizes. If your eating profile includes snacking or grazing on small quantities of food the plication will not be a suitable weight loss procedure. The most successful patients are those who adhere to the dietary advice given and choose a varied healthy diet alongside an increase in activity. If dietary guidelines are not followed poor weight loss and/or weight regain is possible.
In the first year after surgery it is important to protect against nutritional deficiencies. You should take a good quality multivitamin at this stage. When you are fully recovered and eating a small but healthy diet you should be consuming adequate vitamins and minerals and supplements shouldn’t be needed. An anti-acid tablet will be provided for a six week period to protect the stomach during the healing process.