Obesity results from the excess accumulation of fat that
exceeds the body's skeletal and physical standards. According
to the American Obesity Association, obesity is a disease.
Obesity is defined as being 20% or more over ideal weight
(BMI >25). Ideal weight is the weight associated with the
longest life. Ideal weight tables show the ideal weight as
it relates to gender and height. There are different tables
and some controversy over what actually is ideal weight. A
rule of thumb often used by physicians to calculate ideal
weight is to allow 100 lbs. for the first 5 feet of a woman's
height and 5 lbs. For each inch over 5 feet. For men it is
106 lbs. For the first 5 feet and 6 lbs. For each inch thereafter.
Example: A 5 foot 6 inch woman should therefore weight
Doctors need a method to determine the general healthiness
of a patient, and that's where BMI comes into play. BMI stands
for Body Mass Index. It's
a scientific method that uses your weight and height ratio
to calculate your body fat percentage.
BMI is derived by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by
the square of your height in meters. Please visit your doctor
for an accurate reading.
plan or pill works the best?
LapBand411.com's mission is to provide information about
severe obesity and the treatment thereof. We are assuming
that you are obese or morbidly obese and have tried to change
your behavioral factors (diets and exercise) without success
and are interested only in treatments that address the biological
factors in your body that are outside your control. We suggest
that you contact your doctor to get more information about
any diet plans, weight loss products and specific bariatric
surgical procedures such as the lap band.
What is morbid
Morbid obesity is a much more severe form of obesity. A person
who is 100 or more pounds overweight or twice the ideal body
weight and has a BMI of 40 or a BMI of 35 with multiple comorbidities
is morbidly obese. Morbid obesity affects an estimated 9 million
Morbid obesity is a common condition that can have profoundly
negative health and social consequences. It is considered
a serious disease and has been linked to shortened life expectancy.
Most morbidly obese patients are candidates for the various
forms of weight loss surgery (restrictive - lap band, Roux-en-Y
Gastric Bypass surgery (stomach stapling), Gastroplasty, or
Malobsorbtive - biliopancreatic diversion, Duodenal Switch).
According to C. Everett Koop, M.D. former Surgeon General
of the United States, obesity is the second leading cause
of preventable death in America! And more and more insurance
companies are realizing that weight loss surgery is not a
cosmetically motivated treatment but instead a life saving
weight loss surgery treatment making weight loss surgeries
such as gastric bypass financially affordable to those in
What is the difference
between overweight and obese?
An adult is considered "overweight" when he/she
is above a healthy weight, which varies according to a person's
height. An individual is overweight when their BMI is between
2529.9. The standard used by researchers to define a
person's weight according to their height is "body
mass index" (BMI).
An adult with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. For
example, for a 5'4" woman, this means that she is 30
or more pounds over her healthy weight.
I am obese
with health problems, can you help me?
LapBand411.com is designed exactly for you. We walk you
through the process of learning about yourself so that you
can make informed choices about various weight loss surgery
procedures. Many of us don't want to know the facts about
our health but it can be a matter of life and death!
do my gastric bypass surgery?
Yes, but you need to contact us so we may schedule an appointment
to see one of our doctors. At that time the doctor will make
an assessment as to whether you need gastric bypass surgery.
How can I get
help in treating my obesity?
Contact us so we can
start the process of getting you back on track toward a healthier,
happier you. If you not from California and are not interested
in traveling to California, we recommend using ObesityDirectory.com.
It is a nation wide (United States) directory and all of the
bariatric surgeons listed are members of the American Society
for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS). Simply pick a treatment facility
near you and submit your information, the facility will get
back to you. They would be glad to help you.
How do I find out
about clinical trials?
Ask your doctor or if you are out of state and still need
a doctor, we recommend using ObesityDirectory.com
to choose a doctor, then ask your doctor about any clinical
trials that you may be eligible for. They would be happy to
What are some
of the reasons why a doctor might not treat me?
Most treatment facilities will delay surgery, exclude from further
consideration for surgery, or even cancel a scheduled operation
for any patient who does not meet their minimum standards or
who fails to follow through with instructions. Some exclusion
criteria may include the following:
- BMI is too low.
- Failure to keep a scheduled pre-operative seminar or appointment
without advance notification. The lack of commitment might
identify the patient who wont follow through with
post-operative visits and instructions.
- Failure to comply with sample menus and diet assignments.
- Failure to recruit and bring along a support person.
- Failure to stop smoking 6 weeks before surgery (a blood
test for nicotine can be checked prior to surgery).
- Failure to attend a support group meeting before surgery.
- Risk is too high due to existing comorbidities, (health
problems) adding increased risk of complications during
and after the surgery.
- Perceived lack of understanding of or commitment to the
life-long dietary restrictions created by this major operation.
I'm not in California,
how can I find a doctor near me?
We recommend using ObesityDirectory.com.
It is a nation wide directory and all of the bariatric surgeons
listed are members of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery
(ASBS). This means they are general surgeons who specialize
in bariatric surgery and are diplomats of the American Board
of Surgery or Fellows of the American College of Surgeons
or Royal College of Surgeons. The purpose of the Society is
to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery by continued
encouragement of its members to:
- Pursue investigations in both the clinic and laboratory
Interchange ideas, information and experience pertaining
to bariatric surgery
- Promote guidelines for ethical patient selection and care
- Develop educational programs for physicians, paramedical
persons and lay people
- Promote outcome studies and quality assurance
New surgeons are added regularly, so please check back if
you don't locate one near you.
is obese, nothing seems to work, what should we do?
It is generally recommended that you take your child to your
pediatric doctor and have a complete a physical assessment
done to insure the obesity is not caused by physical problems.
If there are no physical problems identified by your pediatrician,
they will usually recommend the modification of external factors.
Here are some very basic ways to do this:
- Set a reasonable weight-loss goal Initially, 5 to 10 lb,
or a rate of 1 to 4 LB per month.
- Obtain a dietary management prescription specifying total
number of calories per day and recommended percentage of
calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates from your pediatrician.
- Begin physical activity according to child's fitness
level, with ultimate goal of 20 to 30 minutes per day (in
addition to any school activity).
- Support your child's behavior modification process through
self-monitoring, nutritional education, stimulus control,
modification of eating habits, physical activity, attitude
change, reinforcements and rewards.
- Review your families activities and television viewing
patterns; involve everyone in nutrition counseling.
There are comprehensive weight management programs for children
and adolescents which should be attempted before weight loss
surgery is even considered. One such facility is the Cincinnati
Weight Management Center at the Children's Hospital Medical
But not all children succeed in the behavior modification
fight against obesity. When supervised behavioral and nutritional
weight control strategies do not result in sustained success,
bariatric surgery may be an option - consult your doctor.
What is the cost
of weight loss surgery?
Gastric Bypass surgery or stomach stapling usually requires
a 2-4 day hospital stay and 3-6 weeks recovery time depending
upon the type of work you do. The cost of bariatric operations
can usually range from $17,000 to $25,000 and although many
patients have had to fight for coverage, more insurers are
beginning to pay, recognizing that the surgery can save them
money in the long run.
Some patients may choose to pay for the weight loss surgery
themselves. There are two fees to consider, one for the bariatric
surgeon and another for your hospital stay. Some doctors can
work with you on their pricing or payment plans. Companies
such as Capital One®
Healthcare Financesm makes
it easy to afford the reconstructive or cosmetic surgery that
you need or want. Use them to pay for procedures, from $1,500
Will my insurance
cover weight loss surgery?
If you're lucky, the weight loss institution you choose will
handle insurance matters for you. In any event, you might
be surprised to learn that many insurance companies will cover
the treatment of health problems caused by obesity but not
obesity itself. So it is a good idea to have a basic understanding
of what your insurance will cover prior to setting up a meeting
with a bariatric surgeon. The Obesity Law and Advocacy Center
has laid out 10 basic steps to provide some fundamental guidance
to both patients and practitioners who want to get insurance
claims approved the first time! (Read
the article) Many health insurance companies will cover
much of the cost for stomach stapling procedures. We recommend
you contact your insurance company directly or find a doctor/obesity
care facility and let them determine what weight loss surgery
procedures and level of coverage you are eligible for.
What if I don't
have health insurance?
If you do not have insurance, don't give up! You still may
have a couple options available in obtaining treatment. One
is simply finding a way to pay for the surgery your self.
Some doctors can work with you on their pricing or payment
plans. Companies such as Capital One®
Healthcare Financesm makes
it easy to afford the reconstructive or cosmetic surgery that
you need or want. Use them to pay for procedures, from $1,500
Another option is to look for obesity related clinical trials
that you may be a candidate for; the study sponsor (whether
it is the government or a pharmaceutical or biotechnology
company) usually provides the new treatment at no cost and
pays for special testing or extra doctor visits. Some sponsors
may pay for more than this; for example, some may offer to
compensate for travel time and mileage. It will still require
time, effort, risk and some cost on your part.
Clinical trials - research studies with people, are needed
to explore new ways to treat people. Doctors conduct a clinical
trial to learn whether a new treatment is safe and effective.
Even the doctors in charge of the study don't know ahead of
time how things will turn out.
How safe is gastric
bypass surgery (stomach stapling)?
Like every operation, there is a risk. Because you may already
have health-related problems, there is an increased risk of
complications. Your doctor should thoroughly screen you to
make sure that there are no surprises on the operating table.
How long will I
be in the hospital after weight loss surgery?
The average stay is two to three days.
Can all types
of bariatric surgery be performed laparoscopically?
Theoretically all kinds of surgical procedures for obesity
such as laparoscopic gastric bypass, stomach stapling (gastric
bypass), and other weight loss procedures can be performed
laparoscopically (also called minimally invasive surgery),
because it is performed through very small incisions and because
postoperative hospital stay is shorter and recovery is quicker.
When can I go back
to work after the weight loss surgery?
This really depends on the type of weight loss surgery you
have and the type of job you do. For gastric bypass surgery,
most patients can proceed with a regular activities after
6 weeks. If you work in a low-impact office, you may be able
to go back to work after 3 weeks. If you are a construction
worker, you may be able to go back after 6 weeks. Each patient
heals on their own time, so everyone will recover on their
Will I still
be able to get pregnant?
Most doctors will strongly recommend for you to not get pregnant
after your first year of the operation. Most of the excess
weight is lost during this time. Your fetus' health may also
Can I drink
Please consult your physician regarding use of alcohol.
What can I do
about extra skin and stretch marks?
Many patients opt for plastic surgery, but we recommend you
wait until you reach your ideal body weight before any plastic
How soon can
I exercise after the gastric bypass surgery (stomach stapling)
After the stomach stapling surgery, most doctors recommend
you exercise to help you lose the weight more quickly. Regular
exercise can usually proceed after 6 weeks, but consult your
Do I have to
take medicine after surgery?
Your body needs to receive the proper vitamins in order to
survive. Your doctor will also go over with you any medicines
you need to take. Most patients actually stop taking their
medication from pre-surgery because they are healthy!
What kind of foods
will I be able to eat and drink?
Stomach Stapling: Usually right after the operation, you
are put on a strict menu of liquid foods. You will be on a
strict diet plan while you heal. The doctor will let you know
what foods you will be able to eat and when you start eating
them. Most patients become lactose intolerant after the operation.
Your obesity treatment facility should work with you after
the operation to change your diet and show you which foods
are good for you and which are not. You will eat whatever
you want, but in small portions. Even so, your appetite will
feel satiated, and you will not feel hungry.
How fast will I
lose the weight after stomach stapling, and is it dangerous?
Most of the weight will be lost in the first six months.
Some patients have even been able to loose weight for up to
two years after the surgery. This surgery is a tool to help
you loose weight, and exercise and diet will help you achieve
your ideal body weight. Losing weight this fast is generally
not a dangerous procedure if you maintain your vitamin supplements
and diet. If you undergo the lap band procedure, your weight
loss will be slower but you can achieve a similar result.
Your doctor should support you after the operation.
Can I get
this weight loss surgery reversed?
Stomach stapling is designed to be permanent, but in general
gastric bypass procedures are reversible. But ask your doctor
about your specific situation.
How about after
stomach stapling surgery - are there support groups?
Many treatment facilities have a network of support groups
in their area and we highly recommend that you participate
in them. Ask your doctor.
I had stomach
stapling surgery but have since forgotten my doctors' recommended
daily nutritional requirements and I can't get in contact
with him. Can you help me?
We suggest that you contact us to get more information about
diet plans, weight loss products and supplements required
after a specific bariatric surgical procedure. If you have
forgotten who your doctor was just choose another practicing
near you, they would be happy to help you.
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