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Bariatric Surgery May Be More Affordable Than Previously Thought

8/17 10:06:24
While obesity may be commonly understood to shorten life span, carrying excess weight also raises the risk of developing life-threatening medical conditions. These conditions may be improved or resolved, studies have shown, by achieving significant weight loss.

The study, published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, evaluated healthcare claim data from a group of patients who had undergone gastric banding and another group who were eligible but did not have the surgery.

Researchers found that post-surgery medical costs slightly decreased for the first group, while the medical costs for the second group continued to rise. The author of the study also stated that the initial costs associated with the gastric banding procedure were recovered in relatively little time, particularly for patients with diabetes.

One increasingly popular San Diego bariatric surgery option is the LAP BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding system, which has been proven to help patients who are 30 pounds or more overweight, have a BMI of more than 30, and have at least one obesity-related health condition (commonly known as a comorbidity) reach their long-term weight loss goals and avoid weight-related health risks. Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul is among the San Diego bariatric surgeons who offer the LAP BAND procedure.

The LAP BAND procedure involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach through a small incision. The band is then filled with a saline solution and connected to a port just beneath the skin of the patient's abdomen. Through this port, San Diego bariatric surgeons can add or remove saline solution to adjust the diameter of the band. Adjusting the diameter, in turn, will alter the amount of food that passes through the opening.

When combined with healthy changes in lifestyle and dietary habits, the minimally invasive procedure has been shown to result in steady, gradual weight loss with only minor post-operative pain or scarring.

In 2001, the FDA approved the LAP BAND for adults with a BMI of more than 40, or more than 35 with at least one severe comorbid condition and for adults who are at least 100 pounds over their ideal weight. In 2011, LAP BAND became the only gastric banding system approved by the FDA for patients with a BMI of 30-35 who suffer from at least one obesity related comorbid health condition.

The LAP BAND is an alternative to gastric bypass surgery San Diego residents should discuss with their doctor.
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