New Laparoscopic Techniques for the treatment of Obesity

Article Conference CoverageFrom Society of Laparoscopic SurgeonsNew York, December, 1999


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Dr. Larry Demco: "The trend of obesity - do you see that it will be a greater problem or less of a problem?"

Bart Bandy: "Demographics show that obesity is going to continue to rise past the year 2010. What we're seeing globally is that the more western culture becomes part of their cultures, the more their obesity trends start to grow as well."

Dr. Larry Demco: "What current technologies are available that deal with obesity, and what do you have to offer?"

Bart Bandy: "There's several sorts of surgical interventions, malabsorptive techniques, and restrictive techniques. These are procedures that have been around for a long time. Usually they've been done as open procedures, although some surgeons have been able to take their technical skills and incorporate their laparoscopic skills to make a laparoscopic bariatric treatment program. These are still very invasive surgeries that change the way that people have to live in the future, whether it's through nutritional needs or dietary supplementation. What we offer is the LAP-BAND(R) Adjustable Gastric Banding
System, which is a laparoscopic adjustable band that goes around the top portion of the stomach. It's a restrictive procedure, it limits the amount of food that somebody is able to eat, and it also is able to be adjusted as far as stoma size so that that sensation of fullness or satiety lasts longer."

Dr. Larry Demco: "Is this adjustable, can you turn it on and turn it off?"

Bart Bandy: "Absolutely. You're able to use a percutaneous approach with a fluoroscope, identify the filling reservoir or our port, and either add or remove saline to change the diameter of the stoma around the upper portion of the stomach."

Dr. Larry Demco: "This, in turn would make the person who has a problem with obesity able to deal with it in a timely manner. At the time when the condition is 'cured,' or his or her goal weight is achieved, then this can actually be turned off and the patient can return to normal without any previous surgery? "

Bart Bandy: "What we've found is that these people - as with diets or drugs or other things that people have tried - if you do remove it, they will regain the weight. It's always an encouragement and a supplement to their own will power and compliance to their weight loss. What we can do is open it back up so that they have a maintenance level of weight."

Dr. Larry Demco: "So it's a device that actually stays with the a person and can be adjusted for the rest of his or her life?"

Bart Bandy: "Yes, absolutely."

Dr. Larry Demco: "That seems like a new technique on the horizon. I understand it's not quite available in the United States, but it is worldwide in many other countries. We're looking forward to this development reaching our continent. Thanks very much, Bart."

Bart Bandy: "Great - thank you Larry."


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