yep, they are yours for life. but in the long run they are not what holds you together. your body heals over them with scar tissue and thats your new "seam". my surgeon showed us a rubber stomach with the staples in it. they are actually very small and fine - look like 1/8 inch sewing machine stitching. and there are several parallel rows of them. not some junky thing like out of an office stapler. i felt better seeing what they looked like. D
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