The FDA approved the Lap-Band adjustable gastric band for obese adults with a BMI of 30-40 and at least one comorbid condition such as asthma, diabetes, or hypertension. It is the only bariatric surgery approved for those adults who do not meet the criteria for morbid obesity with this lower BMI.
Lap-Band Approved for Weight Loss of 30-Pounds
Many people address morbid obesity (either a body mass index of > 40 or > 35 with one comorbidity) by having bariatric surgery. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), approximately 15 million people meet the criteria for morbid obesity. For those who do not meet the requirements, the Lap-Band surgery was approved by the FDA in 2011 for people with a BMI of 30.
Obesity is the second-leading cause of preventable death in the United States, second only to smoking. Medical research has found that those individuals who are currently obese are likely to remain obese if they do not receive treatment. The FDA approval of Lap-Band adjustable gastric band is significant for those people who not so long ago had limited options.
In order to qualify for gastric bypass, the patient must have at least 100lbs to lose. Lap-Band is available to patients who have 30lbs or more excess weight to lose and may now qualify for the procedure.
Obesity Lessens Life Expectancy
An article published in the medical journal The Lancet reports that patients with a BMI >40 shorten their lifespans by about ten years. An article in JAMA, another medical journal, states that a 20 year-old man with a BMI of 45 will live 13 less years than a normal-weight individual. A loss of two to five years occurs even at moderate levels of obesity.
How Lap-Band Works
Lap-Band is an FDA-approved adjustable gastric band device from Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. It is the only device approved for patients with at least 30lbs to lose, a BMI of >30 and at least one comorbid condition.
Lap-Band is an adjustable silicone tube that is placed around the upper part of the stomach. This restricts the amount of food the patient is able to eat at one time and also slows the rate at which food leaves the stomach. The result is that patients achieve sustained weight loss by limiting food intake, reducing appetite, and slowing digestion.
After the surgeon implants the Lap-Band around the upper part of the patient’s stomach, usually laprosopically, a tube is then connected from the gastric band to a small access port that is affixed beneath the skin of the patient’s abdomen. Patients usually return to normal activity within a week.
After the first four to six weeks, adjustments to the Lap-Band are made by the bariatric surgeon through the access port. This is done as needed – more frequently in the first year – to maintain optimal weight loss by adding or removing saline solution.
There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach or re-routing of the digestive system with gastric banding. It is a less invasive procedure when compared to other weight loss surgeries, and there is a low risk of malnutrition.
Clinical Study Reports Significant Results
A clinical study by Allergan, the original manufacturer of the Lap-Band, showed that those patients undergoing the Lap-Band gastric banding achieved much in the first 12-months after surgery:
- A mean excess weight loss of 64.5%
- A mean reduction in BMI of 6.5 points
- A mean reduction in waist circumference for men 6.1 inches and women 5.9 inches
- The study also found that weight loss was maintained at year 2
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photos: FDA, Oliak Center for Weight Loss