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Obesity and Weight Management

Stomach

01/10/2007

Question:

Dear Sir, I would like to ask the following: I am 54 years old and I have a problem. I am overweight and find it very difficult if not imposible to lose weight. I heard about a method that via the mouth they can put a balloon in yur stomache so you can reduce weight. What can you tell me about this. I am 240 pounds and 1,65 metres tall. Thank you

Answer:

Your body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of your weight in relation to your height, is 40. For an adult male, a BMI of 40 or more is considered morbid obesity. You didn't mention if you had any other medical complications from your unhealthy weight.

The procedure you refer to is called, the LAPBAND. The band is not inserted through your mouth but by laparoscopic surgery using very small incisions in the skin. A small band made of silicone is placed around the upper part of your stomach. This creates a small pouch so that the area where food enters the stomach is small. The band can be adjusted as needed through a small port placed under the skin. You will have to closely follow a special diet to lose weight with this procedure. You still have to participate in physical activity.

Although with a body mass index of 40 you meet one of the criteria for obesity surgery, there are other factors which are considered to determine if you can undergo this procedure. I would suggest you talk with your doctor about your concerns. You can also attend a free informational session on obesity surgery options, which most bariatric programs offer periodically.

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Response by:

Ihuoma U Eneli, MD Ihuoma U Eneli, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University