The Gastric Band Procedure May Become A Solution for More People

The Gastric Band Procedure May Become A Solution for More People

New studies are showing that the gastric band (or lap band) procedure may not be restricted to those people who are extremely obese.

In the past, the gastric band has been approved for use in patients who are very severely obese (a body mass index of 40 or higher), and for patients who are severely obese (BMI of 35 to 39.9) with an obesity-related condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Recently device manufacturer, Allergan, funded a study in which researchers performed the procedure on 149 patients with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 (a sector that is generally considered to be moderately obese) and who had at least one obesity-related condition.

Most side effects of the procedure were mild to moderate and resolved within a month.

One year on, the results were undeniably positive:
85 percent of the patients had lost at least 30 percent of excess body weight (with an average excess-weight loss of 65 percent).
66 percent of the patients were no longer obese.
64 percent of patients with high cholesterol had lowered it.
59 percent of patients with high blood pressure had improved it.
85 percent of patients with diabetes either saw an improvement or indeed complete remission

The patients’ results as measured a year after the procedure were maintained-or improved-at two years according to the study, which was published online May 2nd in the journal Obesity.

That’s all good news. But we need to remember that the study was funded by a maker of the gastric band device, so may not be without bias.

Most experts continue to say that the long-term benefits and risks of this procedure in people with a BMI lower than 40 still need to be determined. So if you’re in this in-between space, it’s best to consult with your doctor. You may indeed be unable to lose weight through conventional methods of dieting and exercising, and if you do have an obesity-related condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, and so forth) you may be a candidate for the gastric band.

But always work with a team of professionals who can help you decide what is right for you!

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