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October 27, 1978

More help for the morbidly obese: gastric stapling

JAMA. 1978;240(18):1941. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290180015004

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Gastric stapling, the newest development in the treatment of morbid obesity, promises to achieve substantial weight loss while avoiding the Pandora's box of complications now associated with intestinal and gastric bypass surgery.

After 15 months and 30 patients, surgeons at the Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus report that no complications have arisen from the radical new procedure.

"It is still too early to tell," cautioned William Pace, MD, professor of surgery at Ohio State, "but we believe that gastric stapling may be a considerable improvement over other surgical treatments now used for morbid obesity."

Gastric stapling employs an automatic suture device manufactured by US Surgical Corporation that simultaneously implants a double row of staples across the top part of the stomach. Three staples are removed from the center of the device before implantation, leaving a small opening for food to pass through into the intestinal tract.

Usually, a 50-cc