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FDA Approves Weight Loss Surgery for More Americans

February 18, 2011

Melrose Park, IL (February 18, 2011) – America is getting larger and now more Americans can dramatically change their life through weight loss surgery. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Allergan, the manufacturer of the Lap-Band, to market the surgical weight loss option to individuals with a BMI as low as 30, instead of the previous BMI of 40. Candidates with a BMI of 30 must also have one weight-related medical condition as well, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

According to Allergan, an estimated 48 million Americans will now meet the criteria for receiving the device. The laparoscopic gastric banding (Lap-Band) procedure is reversible, adjustable approach to weight loss surgery during which an inflatable ring is placed around the upper part of the stomach, to ensure that the patient feels fuller and eats less. Unlike the gastric bypass or the gastric sleeve weight loss surgeries, the band is adjustable and can be removed.

“This will help our patients experience the benefits of weight loss surgery sooner; thus halting the continued impact of diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain and countless other conditions caused by obesity,” says Frederick Tiesenga, M.D., Medical Director, The Chicago Center for Bariatric Services. “This new qualification level will be especially useful for Type 2 Diabetics. For years studies have shown a major correlation between weight loss surgery and diabetes resolution. In fact, up to 70 percent of diabetic patients who undergo weight loss surgery see a significant improvement or are cured of diabetes.”

The surgeons at The Chicago Center for Bariatric Services at Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park, Illinois perform all types of bariatric surgery, including Lap-Band, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. Led by distinguished bariatric surgeon, Frederick Tiesenga, M.D., the expert multidisciplinary team at The Chicago Center for Bariatric Services helps individuals lose excess weight and keep it off through education, commitment, support and follow-up care.

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