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FDA Approves Lap-Band Surgery

FDA Approves Lap-Band Surgery

Lap-Band surgery gets the go ahead from the FDA…

The FDA has approved lap-band surgery for patients who are considered clinically obese. The new regulations will allow people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher who have at least one obesity related disease, to receive the weight-loss procedure – a surgery previously only advised for patients with a (BMI) of 40, or 35 with at least one severe obesity-related disease.

The Lap-Band, also known as Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding, is an inflatable band that wraps round the stomach to reduce its size and minimized the amount of food that enters. The procedure was developed by Californian company Allergan Inc.

According to report release by Allergan, around 37 million Americans are clinically obese and have at least one obesity-related condition. Being clinically obese can put extreme strain on the body complex systems and often leads to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer.

fda approves lap band adjustable gastric banding 550x412 FDA Approves Lap Band Surgery

FDA Approves Lap Band Surgery

Image Credit: Weight Loss Surgery Channel, 2011.

Although Lap-Band surgery is now available to people with a BMI of 30-35, experts still say the surgery should only be performed when diets and other weight loss programs have failed.

Robert Michaelson, MD, PhD, of Northwest Surgical Weight Loss Surgery in Everett, Wash., praised the surgery in a recent news release, but noted that such a procedure brings a significant change to ones diet, and these changes require a long-term commitment to adhere to the new eating habits.

The procedure is not considered safe for pregnant women, children, or patients with ongoing alcohol or substance abuse. Other conditions that can increase the risk of complications from lap-band surgery include GI disorders, cirrhosis, heart or lung problems, inflammatory disease, or autoimmune disease.

The new approval comes following a five year study of the LBAGB system in 149 patients who had a BMI of 30 – 40 and had been obese for 17 years prior to the surgery. To meet the FDA requirements, 40 percent of the patients had to shed at least 30 percent of their excess weight. At the end of the study an astonishing 84 percent of participants lost the required amount of weight in under a year, and 65 percent of all participants were no longer considered clinically obese. Furthermore, all the patients kept the weight off during the second year of the study. Allergan Inc said it plans to track the progress of the patients for the next five years.


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  1. Kelli Miller Stacy: Weight Loss Surgery Will Now Be Available to a Larger Group of Obese Patients. WebMD, 02/17/2011.
  2. Thumbnail Credit: Top News, 2010.

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