Lap Banding Procedure Available at Hospital of Central Connecticut
New Britain [February 01 2007] -
Lap banding is one of most common types of weight loss surgery. The procedure has been offered at the Hospital of Central Connecticut since September 2006 when Dr. Carlos Barba joined the hospital as co-medical director of bariatric surgery. Dr. Barba is a bariatric surgeon who performs lap band, laparoscopic, and open gastric bypass surgery. The lap-banding procedure, as the name indicates, involves banding part of the stomach to reduce its capacity.
Lap (short for laparoscopic) banding is favored by some because it is adjustable and reversible. The procedure involves no cutting or stapling of the stomach. The hospital stay generally does not exceed 24-48 hours — days less than other types of bariatric surgery, depending on the patient.
The procedure was first introduced in Europe in 1994, and was approved in the U.S. in 2001. In 2002, Dr. Barba became the first surgeon in Connecticut to perform laparoscopic gastric bypass. He has performed over 2000 procedures including laparoscopic and open gastric bypasses and over 500 lap bands.
Along the continuum of clinical weight loss programs at The Hospital of Central Connecticut known as “Weigh Your Options,” bariatric surgery is the most “aggressive option,” says Dino Costanzo, the hospital’s director of health promotion and bariatrics. “Our center includes a wide range of services for individuals looking to lose five pounds and manage their cholesterol, to those who are morbidly obese and need to lose more than 100 pounds.”
“Lap banding is not a cosmetic procedure,” says Dr. Barba, emphasizing the fact that this is a lifesaving procedure that has become increasingly popular because it’s been shown to be safe and effective.
“Bariatric surgery, including lap banding, is not a magic cure for obesity,” notes Dr. David Giles, co-medical director of bariatric surgery. “It is a last resort for the morbidly obese. But it offers hope for those who have no other options,” says Dr. Giles.
More than 60 million Americans are obese. During the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the U.S. According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 30 percent of adults 20 years of age and older— over 60 million people — are obese. Overweight children and teens, aged 6 to 19 years, now number about 9 million.
Those who come to The Hospital of Central Connecticut for weight loss surgery — also known as bariatric surgery — can’t lead normal lives. Their lives are threatened by the diseases and health conditions that often accompany obesity, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, and some cancers.
Patients accepted for weight-loss surgery must meet specific criteria, which include being over age 18, having tried other diet methods, and being a non-smoker. Most significantly, to be considered for surgery, a patient must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more, “morbidly obese.”
The two commonly performed types of bariatric surgery are lap-banding (laparoscopic stomach band) and gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) — patients’ individual situations dictate which procedure is best suited for them.
To contact Dr. Barba, please call his office at 860-727-4099. For more information about bariatric surgery and other “Weigh Your Options” clinical weight loss programs at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, please call toll free 866-668-5070 or visit the hospital website at www.thocc.org.
BODY MASS INDEX
BMI factors height and weight to calculate how overweight a person is. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight; a BMI of 30 to 39.9 is considered obese; anything above 40 is considered extremely obese. A person who is 5'6" tall and weighs 186 would have a BMI of 30. A person who is 6 feet tall and weighs 258 pounds has a BMI of 35. (To calculate your BMI, visit the National Institutes of Health website: www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmicalc.htm.)
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