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New Opportunity for Weight Loss Surgery

An advisory committee with the FDA recently determined that lap band surgery is suitable for patients with a BMI (body mass index) as low as 30. The weight loss surgery had previously been recommended for those who were at least 100 pounds overweight with a BMI of at least 40. Patients had been able to pursue the surgery with a BMI of 35 and other health complications such as heart disease.

If the FDA accepts the recommendation of the FDA advisory committee, the lap band surgery may now be available to an additional 27 million Americans. Those patients with a BMI of 35 would be eligible, as would those with a BMI of 30 plus other comorbidities. This weight loss surgery is a low-risk procedure where a silicon band is placed around the upper stomach. The band is adjustable and reduces the patient’s stomach capacity. The procedure is less invasive than stomach stapling or gastric bypass.

This type of weight loss surgery is appropriate for those prospective patients unable to achieve a healthy weight via other more conservative options such as behavior modification or supervised diet and exercise programs. Patients undergoing lap band surgery must be prepared to make significant changes to their eating habits not only after the surgery, but also for the rest of their lives.

Those in the Albany area who are significantly overweight and have not been able to lose weight on their own may want to consider lap band surgery. With the FDA recommendation, a number of prospective candidates who could not have qualified before may find the weight loss surgery to be a viable option now. The surgery is an excellent option for those looking for a safe, moderate alternative to gastric bypass surgery or stomach stapling.


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