Stomach reduction

Specialty of Gastroenterology

What is stomach reduction?

A stomach reduction is an operation to reduce the size of the stomach; it is mainly performed in people who are morbidly obese. Different techniques exist, some of which involve removal of specific parts of the stomach.

Why is it done?

The operation should be performed on people in whom the risk of not performing the operation to eliminate excess weight is greater than the operative risk. It is performed when the specialist can see that the patient cannot lose weight via dieting and physical activity, and their BMI is higher than 40 or 35 if serious disease is also present.

What does it involve?

Currently, there are operations that do not require traditional open surgery; rather they can be carried out using endoscopy. Stomach reduction by endoscopy, also known as POSE (Primary Obesity Surgery Endoluminal), is a new minimally invasive technique that does not require incisions and is performed orally.

Specifically, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth until it reaches the stomach. In the stomach, folds are created to reduce its size and capacity, and to slow emptying. Endoscopic stomach reduction has several advantages: it provides a permanent result without external scars, does not require a hospital stay, and is safer. 

How to prepare for the operation

You will have to follow a strict diet for a few weeks before the operation, in order to reduce cardiac risk during the operation. It is also advisable to perform breathing exercises and physical activity.

Post-operative care

As a result of the operation, your body will have undergone a major change, in terms of how you digest food. You will therefore have to change your lifestyle. After the operation, your stomach will be about the size of a walnut, have a lower capacity and will absorb nutrients differently.

Your stomach will increase in size over time; during this period, you should not eat excess food. A normal stomach can receive up to 1 litre of food, whereas a “reduced” stomach should not exceed 250 ml of food.

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