Monday, October 17, 2011

FDA approves expanded use of LAP-BAND� System

Our friends at Allergan contacted us this morning to let us know that the FDA approved the expanded use of the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System.   

LAP-BAND's new indication statement is as follows: 

The LAP-BAND® System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The previous indications were for people who had Body Mass Indexes of 35 or above. Now people with BMIs as low as 30, with one or more obesity-related health condition, can have LAP-BAND Surgery.

To put that in perspective, previously, a person with diabetes or high blood pressure who was 5'10" would have to weigh about 245 lbs or more for FDA-approved use of the band. Now that same person could get band surgery if they weighed 210 pounds or more.

Unfortunately, this new range does not necessarily change any insurance company's criteria to cover the surgery, though we will keep in contact with them regularly to find out if they update their criteria. In the meantime, Weight Loss Surgical Center will continue to do surgeries for appropriate candidates who do not have insurance coverage at our reduced cash price.

Allergan figures that 26 million Americans who did not previously qualify for surgery now do, which doubles the potential patient population for the band.

If you're interested in losing weight, find out if your BMI qualifies for LAP-BAND Surgery or download our free catalogue of LAP-BAND information today.

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