One of the biggest complaints you hear on the streets today and in the news is the level of physical fitness of American children today. More specifically, the lack of physical fitness. There is hope for obese adolescents though for help with their health problems. A team of surgeons headed by Evan Nadler of the New York University School of Medicine have found that laparoscopic banding of the stomach can assist teens that are considered morbidly obese. This information was released in a recent press release from the American College of Surgeons.
Laparascopic adjustable gastric band procedures, better known as laproscopic banding is an alternative to the more controversial gastric bypass procedure. It is also considered to be safer. In the press release Dr. Nadler reveals that the mortality rate for laparoscopic band procedures is 20 percent lower than the mortality rate for gastric-bypass procedures. The surgery for this procedure has a limited invasiveness to it’s nature. The surgeons use a tiny camera to help guide them which they insert into the body through a small abdominal incision. A band is then put around the stomach to tighten and results in the patients feeling full. As the stomach becomes looser, there is a balloon attached to the band which the surgeons can access through a port to continue the feeling of fullness.
The children in the test group were all in the age range of 14 to 17 years old and considered extremely overweight. This was based on the teens having a body mass index of at least 35 with one weight related illness or a body mass index of 40 or above. It was found that after the laparscopic banding procedure these teenagers lost close to 50 percent of their excess weight.
Prior to the procedure the severely overweight teens had many weight related illneeses. Between the 14 participants coming in they have forty three different weight related illnesses. Some of these included back pain, depression, sleep disorders and osteoarthritis. One year after the procedure the surgeons re-evaluated 34 of these conditions. They results were impressive. They found that 25 of these weight related illnesses had been resolved entirely. Five others were improved. This was an overall improvement rate of 70 percent of the original weight related illnesses. The goal of the procedure is not just to help with these illnesses but to teach the teens how to live healthier.
“We think of it as a behavior modification tool.”, said Dr. Nadler. “It really changes the way you eat. It forces you to. There’s no choice.”, continued Dr. Nadler.
In the end the laparscopic banding procedure might not work for everyone, but it is a safer procedure than the gastric bypass procedure with a lower mortality rate. It also serves as a learning experience for teens as they are forced to learn to eat in a more healthy manner based on the pressure the band creates on their stomach and resulting in that feeling of being full. If they learn and continue to eat in this way, chances of the weight related illnesses returning are very nearly eliminated entirely.
Prnewswire.com. “Surgeons Find That Laparoscopic Banding Procedure Helps Overweight Adolescents Lose Weight and Improve Health”.