A new report ranked Florida the 36th most obese state in the country. According to the F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010 report, the state’s obesity rate for adults is more than 25 percent, with men being more obese than women at nearly 28 percent.
More and more overweight Americans are turning to weight loss surgery as a long-term weight management solution, including the FDA-approved LAP-BAND® procedure. The LAP-BAND® technology is a minimally invasive alternative to gastric bypass surgery. The technology allows patients the opportunity to gradually reduce their food intake and ensure a healthy and maintainable weight loss.
Who is a candidate?
Morbidly obese adults are often considered candidates for the LAP-BAND® procedure— typically an adult with a BMI of 35 or someone approximately 100 pounds overweight. Other health conditions that may help quality a patient include:
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Knee and joint pain
How LAP-BAND® works
The LAP-BAND® is an adjustable gastric band designed to induce weight loss by reducing the stomach capacity and restricting the amount of food that can be consumed. Surgeons use a laparoscopic technique, making tiny incisions and insert the surgical instruments through narrow, hollow tubes.
The surgeon then uses a small camera to see inside the abdomen and view it on a video monitor, allowing him or her to wrap the LAP-BAND® system around the patient’s stomach without cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing.
The LAP-BAND® is looped and fastened around the upper stomach to create a small pouch. The pouch limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. The band is securely locked around the stomach, but can be adjusted without surgery as the patient loses weight or needs to gain weight for medical reasons.
Prepare for weight loss success
At St. Petersburg General Hospital’s Bariatric Institute, all potential patients for the LAP-BAND® procedure must attend a seminar with one of our bariatric surgeons. Patients also need a psychological evaluation and counseling. Most insurance companies require the person to be seen by a physician between three to six months before the surgery.
Patients will also have ongoing consultations with a registered dietician. Another key to ensuring success is to understand that the procedure is only a part of the solution.
“Any bariatric surgery is a tool in which to lose weight. It depends how the patient uses the tool,” Bariatric Coordinator Julie Beckler, RN, CBN said.
Studies show bariatric surgery patients live longer lives and report experiencing an improved quality of life and psychological well-being along with improvements in employment and economic conditions.
For more information about bariatric surgery at St. Petersburg General Hospital, log onto our website at www.StPeteGeneral.com or call (727) 341-4869.