Heart Disease Makes Weight Loss Surgery an Option for More People

Weight loss surgery and specifically Lap-band surgery is an option for many people that are at least 100 pounds over their recommended weight or have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Weight loss surgery is recommended for people who have a body mass index of 35 and also have other risk factors, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Recently a Food and Drug Administration advisory council, the government oversight group that rules over consumables and pharmaceuticals including surgical devices, has voted by a margin of 8-2 to approve and expand the factors that allow patients to be eligible for Lap-band surgery. The council has now approved and deemed the device to be safe for use in patients who are morbidly obese with a BMI of 35 and has lowered the BMI for patients with co-morbidity factors such as diabetes to 30.

The FDA’s ruling was based on a study by the manufacturer which analyzed data from over 140 patients. After a year with the weight loss surgery device only 37 percent of the group were still categorized as morbidly obese and most had a significant change in BMI. After one year 80 percent of the group had lost a significant amount of weight, as much as 30 percent, and over 60 percent had lost half of their recommended weight loss goal.

The council’s decision to adjust the qualification factors for Lap-band Surgery allows people who have repeatedly tried to lose weight without success another option in gaining control over their lives by losing weight and lessening their risk of other health issues such as cardiovascular disease. The last hurdle in the process is for the Food and Drug Administration to approve the council’s recommendation.

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