With obesity on the rise in the U.S., the number of weight-related medical problems continues to grow. This is an important issue throughout the country, but Michigan has consistently ranked in the bottom 10 states in the rate of obesity among its residents. Now, thanks to a recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), another treatment option will be available to more patients.
Last week, the FDA approved the use of Lap-Band surgery in individuals with a body-mass index (BMI) as low as 30, provided they have at least one weight-related medical condition. Lap-Band surgery is one type of bariatric surgery, a category that includes procedures such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and gastric sleeving. Previously, patients had to have a BMI of at least 40 to be considered for Lap-Band surgery. It is estimated that the FDA’s ruling will allow up to 11 million more Americans to consider Lap-Band surgery as an option.
Although bariatric surgery is getting safer and safer, it is not without risk. Any surgical procedure carries with it a chance of injury or even death. Each patient is different, and careful consideration of all alternatives and risks is required before rushing into any kind of treatment. If you are considering this type of surgery, be sure to discuss it at length with your doctor, and strongly consider getting a second opinion.