26 Million Americans Now Eligible for Lap-bands

mellieb on 19 Feb 2011 at 12:00am

Rejection is never easy.

But when you’re trying to make a positive change in your life and lose weight, and you don’t qualify for bariatric surgery, rejection can really sting.

For many people on the cusp of the eligibility parameters for gastric procedures, there’s now hope. The FDA has approved a wider use of the Allergan lap-band for individuals who face serious health risks because of excess weight, but were previously not obese enough to qualify.

According to The New York Times, this translates into 26 million Americans who are now potentially eligible for a lap-band – a number more than double the previous 15-18 million candidates. Just think about what that means for 26 million people – that’s the size of the cities of New York and Chicago, combined.

Previously the standard for surgical candidates was a BMI of 40, which included people who were heavy but healthy. While this still stands, now those with a BMI of 30 or higher are eligible; however, they must have accompanying obesity-related health complications, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Although there are only a few lap-band reviews on RealSelf to date, those who do post are overwhelmingly positive about how the band changed their lives: says helenc32, “LapBand Changed my Life… I get stopped almost daily and told how great I look! I still have about 30 lbs to go but I feel amazing! I would definitely recommend this surgery AND my doc to anyone. GREAT experience all the way around!”

Now as for the thin, healthy women in England who are allegedly clamouring for a gastric band – even offering to pay for it themselves - because they want to stay trim and look great: as the song goes, “You can’t always get what you want…”

Learn more on RealSelf:


Photo courtesy of Dr. Ricardo M. Bonner