Vbloc & Lap-Band® For Relatively Lower BMI Patients
Several years ago, the FDA approved the Lap-Band gastric banding system for patients suffering from obesity but who found themselves under the minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) threshold previously mandated. That meant that the millions of people who have a BMI between 30 and 34.9 may qualify for bariatric surgery if they have one or more diseases associated with obesity, also known as co-morbidities.
More recently a device known as Vbloc – a vagus nerve stimulator – has brought a new dimension to minimally invasive weight loss. While it is only approved for those with a BMI of 35 or over with one or more comorbidities, it is most appropriate for those with milder forms of obesity that need to lose less weight.
Since even “milder” levels of obesity can trigger associated diseases including sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain and more, the new technologies aimed at those with relatively lower BMIs are an important consideration in the treatment plan.
Our practice has extensive experience in the surgical treatment of obesity for patients with a relatively lower BMI. We have placed hundreds of bands in patients who otherwise may not have qualified for bariatric surgery under the FDA’s former guidelines. Further, we are one of the first practices in the United States to perform a Vbloc procedure.
It is important to note that while the FDA has approved several novel treatments, not all insurance companies will provide coverage for qualifying patients. It is important to verify coverage under your particular plan. As a result, some patients may consider financing or cash pay in order to undergo surgery. Also, other bariatric procedures, such as the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, do not have a low-BMI option.
If you fall between the BMI range of 30 and 34.9, we invite you to discuss and explore the opportunities available to you. To do so, you may wish to attend one of our several monthly bariatric surgery seminars held in Long Island. Subsequent to attending the seminar and understanding the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery, you will attend your first consultation and undergo comprehensive preoperative testing. This testing will confirm whether or not you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery for lower BMI patients can be a truly transformative procedure and we look forward to being able to speak with you about its benefits and potential applications for your unique circumstance.