The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of LapBand®, a less-invasive alternative to traditional weight loss surgery options, for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more that have at least one obesity-related comorbid condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In the past, the surgery has only been approved for individuals with a BMI of 35 or more. Capital Regional Medical Center is the Big Bend area’s exclusive provider of LapBand®.
“The new FDA guidelines allow more people to be eligible for the surgery who have been unable to lose weight through means such as diet and exercise,” says Roy Schwartz, MD, Chief of Staff at Capital Regional Medical Center.
LapBand® is a surgical technique that involves placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach. The option is less invasive, reversible and has fewer side effects associated with it when compared to other weight-loss surgery methods. It’s also the only bariatric surgical option that is adjustable, based on the patient’s needs. The average patient looses between 36 and 38 percent of their excess weight within two to three years. Two thirds of patients can reduce or eliminate various medications, such as hypertension, reflux, and type 2 diabetic medications.
As the region’s sole provider of LapBand®, Capital Regional’s bariatric program is comprehensive and designed to motivate patients to a life-long commitment of healthy eating and exercise. Bariatric Coordinator Becky Fanguy, RN, BSN, RNFA, sees patients for a two-hour session prior to their surgery to prepare them for the change in diet that is required for results and consults with them for weeks to months afterward to ensure continued success. Patients even attend monthly support group meetings to help them stay connected and motivate one another.
One such patient is Anthenese Rosier-Grooms, a Tallahassee resident who underwent the LapBand® surgery at Capital Regional in November. Rosier-Grooms didn’t consider any other location for her surgery, citing the friendly, helpful staff and all-inclusive process, which she discovered by attending one of the monthly free informational sessions.
“I can’t remember the last time I felt this healthy,” she says. “I feel so much better and I share my positive experience with everyone.”
“At Capital Regional Medical Center, we’re committed to equipping patients in our region with the resources they need to be their healthiest,” says Bud Wethington, CEO of Capital Regional Medical Center. “We’re proud to bring the revolutionary LapBand® procedure to Tallahassee.”
Those interested in learning more about LapBand® and Capital Regional Medical Center’s bariatric program are invited to attend a free informational session. Held monthly, the next opportunities are March 17 and April 26.
For more information about the Capital Regional Medical Center LapBand® program, please call (850) 325-3627.