Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Going Under the Knife

Now I know what you're thinking and you are wrong. No I'm not having another surgery and I am not surgery obsessed either, but I did come across a few very intersting articles regarding weight loss surgery today. One of which talks about how the FDA is going to lower its standards for who is approved to undergo the lap band surgery. In the past this particular surgery was only available to those who were considered morbidly obese, but if the FDA passes the proposal then the procedure would then be available to those were were considered less obese.

This surgery was considered a less evasive way to lose weight than gastric bypass. In fact it was created as a non permanent alternative to do the exact same thing. In detail it is a ring is placed over the top of the stomach and inflated with saline to tighten it and restrict how much food can enter and pass through the stomach. This procedure has been available in the U.S. since 2001, but has been available in Europe and Australia much longer and is also more dominant in those countries.
To be a canidate for the Lap Band procedure under current standards one must have  body mass index of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher if the person suffers from a weight-related medical problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure according to the article posted on Approximentley 15 million Americans currently meet this criteria. However if the proposal is adopted then it would lower the requirements for eligibility to a BMI of 35 or higher, or as low as 30 with one of the related health problems. By cutting it down this much it would increase the number of those eligible to have the procedure to 27 million, according to federal health data.

The problem then falls into cost. Most insurance companies will not pay for this procedure, and even the ones that do still require a co-pay that is often times several thousand dollars still. With the economy in its current situation plastic surgery has certainly gone down in the last year and it is thought that if the standards lower for those who are eligible to undergo this procedure less insurers will cover it. This is essentially one of those cases where you win some and lose some. the procedure can range from $14,000 to $20,000. The device itself costs $3,000.

This procedure is created to assist in weight loss, but will not take it all away. If I've said it once I'll say it a million more times there also (even after surgery) needs to be a lifestyle change. Having this procedure done would certainly speed up the process, but maintaining it would be completely up to the individual. I see the pros and cons to this for sure. One pro though is that it would speed up the process.

Often times people fail at diets because they are not seeing results quicly enough. With this procedure you would. One of the obvious cons to this procedure is that it is a surgery which means a healing period, which also means that something foreign is being placed in the body. Another downside to this is that if you don't change your ways you may be out thousands of dollars and for nothing.

What do you think about weight loss surgery? Do you feel like it is a good option? Me myself I am kind of sitting on the fence when it comes to this topic. Please let me know what you think or if you know of anyone who has undergone a procedure. I would love to hear their stories.

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