Laparoscopic gastric plication is a surgical procedure specifically designed for individuals experiencing obesity.
This advanced surgical intervention has shown remarkable efficiency in combating obesity. Using a laparoscopic technique, the abdominal surgeon reduces the capacity of the stomach through several small incisions measuring 0.5-1.5 cm. The procedure involves inverting and suturing the patient’s greater curve to create a narrow tube-like structure. As a result, the stomach volume is reduced by approximately 65-70% while maintaining its integrity.
Who is eligible for this surgery?
Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) exceeding 35 are typically recommended to undergo gastric plication if they suffer from obesity. This surgical intervention is considered when previous conservative approaches, such as dietary modifications and exercise, have failed to produce the desired outcomes.
The gastric plication procedure is minimally invasive and offers significant improvements in eating habits, overall health, and general well-being. Obesity carries a heightened risk for various health conditions, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, reflux, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. Many overweight individuals experience these health concerns.
Getting ready for operation
- In preparation for laparoscopic gastric plication, a comprehensive physical assessment should be conducted, encompassing various examinations and tests. These include a general blood test, a biochemical blood test to measure potassium, sodium, creatinine, glycemia, CRB, and albumin levels, a liver function test, a fractionated cholesterol test, a glycosylated hemoglobin test, blood coagulation readings (SPA, DATL, INR), assessment of micronutrients (calcium, iron), and evaluation of vitamins (folic acid, vitamin B12, 25-OH vitamin D).
- Additionally, all patients should undergo an electrocardiogram. Depending on individual risk factors, medical history, and physical examination findings, further non-invasive heart tests may be recommended. Consulting an endocrinologist is also advisable. Furthermore, gastroscopy and testing for the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria are necessary. In the event of a positive test, appropriate treatment and eradication of ulcers and polyps are required.
- As the surgery approaches, it is essential for the patient to consult a nutritionist. Based on the individual’s condition, the nutritionist will provide personalized dietary recommendations. This may involve modifications to eating habits, such as incorporating more vegetables, lean meat, or fish, while reducing calorie intake.
- Approximately one month prior to the operation, it is advisable to abstain from consuming alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.
What to expect from this surgery?
- Gastric plication is conducted using general anesthesia to ensure the patient remains pain-free and comfortable throughout the procedure. The operation utilizes cutting-edge technologies, including a modern laparoscope equipped with a high-definition video camera and specialized instruments.
- Typically, 5-6 small incisions, ranging from 5-20 mm in size, are made in the abdominal region to allow for the insertion of the laparoscope and surgical instruments into the abdominal cavity. The walls of the stomach are carefully sutured to create a narrow tube, reducing its overall volume.
- This procedure is performed with utmost care to minimize any trauma to the surrounding tissues. If necessary, the sutures can be reversed, allowing the stomach to return to its original shape and size.
What to expect after the surgery?
- Following gastric plication (folding) surgery, it is common for patients to be discharged from the clinic on the second day after the procedure. Before leaving, patients have a scheduled appointment with a nutritionist to discuss their post-surgery diet. The successful outcomes and healing process are directly influenced by the diligent adherence to these dietary guidelines.
- Gastric plication is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, allowing for the skin incisions to heal within a few weeks. During this recovery period, it is crucial to stay well-hydrated, exercise caution when moving, avoid strenuous physical activities, and maintain a restful routine. After this initial healing phase, a gradual return to normal activities can be initiated.
- Following the surgery, the sensation of hunger is significantly diminished, and the patient feels satisfied with smaller food portions. Laparoscopic gastric plication effectively reduces the size of the stomach, aiding in the development of healthier eating habits. By adhering to the recommendations provided by your doctor, it is possible to achieve weight loss ranging from 40-60% of excess weight within the initial two years following the operation.
- Scarring resulting from gastric plication is minimal due to the utilization of innovative laparoscope technology, ensuring a minimally invasive approach. This approach significantly reduces trauma to the surrounding tissues, resulting in narrow and inconspicuous scars. Over time, these scars fade quickly and become practically invisible.
To achieve the best possible outcomes, it is advisable to undergo a series of personalised lymph drainage massages following your surgery. Amber Surgery clinic in Dublin provides post-operation clients with lymphatic massages at discounts of up to 50% (bookings available from 23rd of June)