Weight loss surgery has changed over the last thirty years -- from procedures that either didn't work or that worked, but left patients in poor shape -- to the era of modern weight loss surgery. In 1991 a consensus panel of the National Institute of Health agreed that weight loss surgery would benefit patients who were morbidly obese. This was based on non-laparoscopic, open procedures, and before the band was introduced.
In 1993 a new era in weight loss surgery began with the introduction of the first laparoscopic adjustable bands placed in Europe, then Australia. In 2001 the F.D.A. approved the LAP-BAND for sale in the United States.
The gastric plication has been around since the early 1900's, but used as a weight loss procedure in other countries with results similar to the RNY-gastric bypass.
Over the last few years studies have shown the incredible safety of the band and plication over other weight loss procedures (the RNY gastric bypass and the duodenal switch). Now with the data showing that the band is as effective as other weight loss operations, we made the decision to offer the band or the plication for our weight loss patients.
But today, the LAP-BAND (but not the RNY or Sleeve) has been found effective for those who have as little as 50 pounds of weight to lose. The plication has a similar safety record as the band. The adjustable laparoscopic band and plication has been found more effective for weight loss and maintaining weight loss than very low calorie diets. We now offer the LAP-BAND and the plication for those patients who are not "morbidly obese" but wish to lose smaller amounts of weight, just to feel better and possibly prevent, or put off, future conditions associated with obesity. In the cutting edge of science, we have studied, and continue to study those patients who are not morbidly obese, but simply have excess weight. In some instances, they may already have health problems as an effect of their weight problem. Weight loss surgery is often considered an option to help them lose weight and feel better. Many things can make a person feel better after weight loss, from being more comfortable in an airline seat, to keeping up with kids or a busy schedule, or just buying better fitting clothes.
Diets don't work -- ok, they work for a little while, but they do not sustain your weight loss. The LAP-BAND and the plication work by allowing you to not only lose the excess weight, but by maintaining that weight loss over the long run.
Weight loss from either diet and exercise or voluntary activities or due to involuntary circumstances such as illness, is often temporary. Maintaining the weight loss achieved from diets or even with medically supervised diets, exercise and behavior modification programs is almost impossible. The band is a lifestyle change -- a tool, to allow permanent weight loss.