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Surgeons Find That Laparoscopic Banding Procedure Helps Overweight Adolescents Lose Weight and Improve Health
Date:10/8/2007

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the number of overweight children in the United States approaches epidemic proportions, one group of surgeons is taking an active role in researching new ways to reduce obesity rates in children. Evan Nadler, MD, and colleagues at the New York University School of Medicine have been researching the effectiveness of surgical intervention to help morbidly obese children lose weight: they studied the effect of laparoscopic banding procedures on weight loss in a group of 14- to 17-year-olds who were extremely overweight. They reported their findings at the 2007 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

To be eligible for the study, teenage patients had to meet National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines for weight loss surgery, having either a BMI (body mass index) of 35 with at least one cormorbidity (weight-related illness) or a BMI of 40 without. According to Dr. Nadler, "Generally, participants had to be about 100 pounds or more overweight." Participants also had to have been obese for five or more years and had to have failed medically supervised attempts at weight loss for six months or more, Dr. Nadler explained.

Being overweight places people at risk for other illnesses (or comorbidities), including type 2 diabetes (high blood sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, liver disease, some types of cancer, and irregular menstrual periods. Dr. Nadler also notes, "These individuals typically have back pain or joint pain. They can have depression -- actually, the mental health side of this is vastly underappreciated in my opinion. Obesity is devastating to these children's social development."

Currently, two major operations for weight loss in adults are performed in the United States: the gastric bypass procedure and the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band procedure. Dr. Nadler's group studied the use of the laparo
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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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