Texas-based medical device company Apollo Endosurgery recently presented its LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System on the May 2nd edition of “The Dr. Oz Show.”
On the show, Dr. George Fielding, MD, associate professor of surgery at NYU School of Medicine, and also a formerly obese person, explained that for obese people it is crucial to control hunger and, therefore, successfully lose weight.
To this, added Dr. Fielding, the LAP-BAND is a proven, FDA approved system that works by limiting “all consuming” hunger, since “the band works by controlling hunger. You just eat a lot less and are a lot less hungry,” he said.
Sharing his personal experience on the show, Dr. Fielding himself revealed that he had at one point maxed out at 330 pounds and 11 medications daily. “I was a typical fat man faced with a choice: lose weight or die young,” he said. “A man with a BMI of 45 dies 13 years before his normal weight brother or sister.” With this in mind, Dr. Fielding managed to lose 110 pounds in the last 15 years.
The technology behind gastric banding systems, which involves the insertion of a silicone ring through a laparoscopic procedure that decreases the capacity of the stomach, has been at times controversial in terms of the risks associated with implementing it. That being said, LAP-BAND was originally designed for patients with a BMI of 30 to 35 (with at least one co-morbid condition), offering a viable, effective option for allowing morbidly obese patients to drop weight and avoid early death. As a result of its success, the LAP-BAND System is now currently being studied to verify if it is safe to implement in seriously obese adolescents. Apollo is now recruiting for the trial, which will include patients between 14 and 18 years old, with a BMI of at least 40 and a five-year history of obesity.
Obesity is a serious, growing problem in the United States, which is thought to affect one out of every three people. Morbid obesity is diagnosed in severe cases, where a person is more than 100 pounds over their ideal body weight. In addition to surgical options, exercise, dietary restrictions, and behavior modification are all additional methods to fight the disease. However, most patients are found to regain weight within 2 to 4 years.