Chronic disease prevention and management in central coastal CA

Archive for the category “Obesity”

FDA may ease access to lap-band surgery – SF Chronicle 01.26.11

     I read the below attached article in today’s SF Chronicle.  Apparently the FDA is poised to lower the BMI threshold recommendations for the obesity surgery known as “lap-banding” to BMI of 35 for obese individuals and 30 for obese individuals with diabetes, hypertension or other heart disease. This represents a significant change. The article points out that the panel’s request for the change came from “one of the main manufacturer’s of a lap band device.”  A surgeon/medical director at California Pacific Medical Center who states the recommendations might seem aggressive but “it’s quite low risk for surgery.”  Not one source in the article describes any studies supporting the new recommendation.  Although the American Society of Bariatric Physicians questions the proposed changes, suggesting that the new guidelines would encourage people to “jump directly to surgery”.  Foregoing or bypassing (excuse the pun), the educational requirements that often lead to enlightened wellness.  The co-founder of the Center of Weight and Wellness at UCB frankly states, “It’s not an appropriate solution”.
     The article offers ths website to check your BMI: www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi
As a practitioner trying to teach wellness, I find the whole FDA process in this regard, very frustrating.  Additionally irritating in that one of the tenets of health care reform going forward, as proposed by the Administration, is evidence- based medicine. That is healthcare decisions should be based on review of the best available research studies, ideally not derived from partial industry reports.  The procedure presently cost between $15,ooo and $20,000, and insurers usually covers based on FDA guidelines.

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