Lap Band Surgery: A Better Last Resort?

Lap-band surgery is now being performed more frequently.

Lara Rondinelli By Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE

Preliminary research indicates that obese patients with type 2 diabetes who had lap-band surgery lost more weight and had a higher likelihood of diabetes remission compared to patients who used diet and exercise for weight loss, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Weight-loss surgery has grown in popularity over the years and although gastric bypass had been the most common surgery, lap-band surgery is now being performed more frequently. A less invasive procedure, lap-band surgery places an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach creating a small pouch to hold food. The band limits the amount of food a person can eat by essentially creating a smaller stomach. The surgery increases the feeling of fullness and also increases the time it takes the intestines to digest the food. The surgeon can later adjust the band to allow food to pass more slowly or quickly through the digestive tract.

Weight-loss surgery may be an option if you are very obese and if you have been unsuccessful with weight loss on diet and exercise programs. In order to be considered for surgery you must meet the following criteria:

• Body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. BMI is a calculation based on height and weight that is used to determine whether you are of normal weight or overweight. Someone with a BMI of 40 and above is classified as morbidly obese. (Calculate your BMI here.)

• A BMI of 35 or more, along with a life-threatening disease that can be made better with weight loss — such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and sleep apnea.

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Last Modified Date: February 15, 2013

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