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Gastric plication is a weight loss surgery that reduces the size of your stomach capacity to about 3 ounces (approximately 70% of your stomach is reduced). The procedure restricts the amount of food that your stomach can hold, making you feel fuller sooner and you will not eat as much as you used to, resulting in weight loss. The procedure is mostly performed through laparoscopic surgery, meaning it is minimally invasive.
Your surgeon starts by creating five or six small incisions in your abdomen and inserts a laparoscope along with small surgical instruments through the incisions. Then, your surgeon sews one or more large folds in your stomach to reduce the volume, which makes your stomach only able to hold less food. The procedure is performed under general anesthetic.
You may be required to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days following the surgery. After you are discharged from the hospital, you should stay in Turkey for 5 to 7 more days since your surgeon will schedule a follow-up hospital checkup to check your overall health and remove your stitches.
The recovery period may vary for one person to another, depending on your general health before the surgery. In general, you should be able to gradually return to your normal activities and work within 7 to 10 days. Always make sure you talk to your doctor about the recovery timeline, including when you are allowed to return to your normal diet and perform strenuous activities (such as vigorous exercise and heavy lifting).
You may need to have a liquid diet for the first couple of days before you can start to eat normally. Your surgeon and medical team will give you a proper diet plan that you need to follow because you will have to fulfill your nutritional requirements with smaller amounts of food and plan to have regular exercise. You will attend regular checkups in which your weight loss is recorded and your health is monitored.
Gastric plication is considered safe and complications only occur in 1.6% of patients. You can expect to lose about 57% of your excess weight within a year and about 68% within four years. The risks and side effects of the procedure are separation of stitched areas, leaks from stitched areas, nausea, vomiting, infection, and allergic reactions to general anesthesia.
If you do not want to undergo gastric plication or you are not an ideal candidate for the surgery, you can opt for the alternatives. Your alternatives are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric band, and gastric balloon. Make sure to consult with your doctor which of these procedures is best for you as well as the advantage and disadvantages of each procedure.
Before gastric plication, you may be overweight or obese and your attempt to lose weight through exercise and diet has not worked. After the procedure, you will not be able to eat as much as you did before, which will result in significant weight loss, allowing you to have a healthy and ideal weight.