Lap-Band Procedure May Treat Teen Obesity
Researchers say laparoscopic gastric banding surgery — the “Lap-Band” procedure — does more than help teens lose weight. it can also improve and even reverse metabolic syndrome. As a result, this reduces their risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The study was presented at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in Washington, D.C.
“An estimated 17 percent of all American adolescents are obese, and increasing numbers of them also have metabolic syndrome,” says Dr. Ilene Fennoy, co-author of the study. Fennoy is also a pediatric endocrinologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and clinical professor of pediatrics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Until recently, there have been few treatments capable of helping these young patients lose weight, much less improving their lifelong health prospects. The Lap-Band may well be a useful intervention for tackling teen obesity — which is why it is so important to investigate the procedure’s safety and efficacy in this growing population.”
In the new study, Dr. Fennoy and her colleagues followed 24 morbidly obese adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 who underwent the Lap-Band procedure. The study participants either had a BMI of greater than 40 or greater than 35 if already suffering from diabetes or obesity-related illnesses.
Six months after surgery, they noted a significant drop in participants’ BMI, waist circumference, and blood levels of C-reactive protein. These indicators continued to improve among the 12 patients being followed up at the one-year point.
Other measures of metabolic syndrome such as blood lipid and sugar levels, the authors reported, came down quickly in the first six months, with “less dramatic” changes seen one year after surgery.
“Of all the bariatric procedures,” she says, “the Lap-Band is the most benign, with complication rates of less than 1 percent.” The device, inserted via minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, consists of a simple band to make the stomach smaller and a balloon that can be decompressed when necessary, she explains.
Although it is technically reversible, the procedure should be considered a long-term solution for extreme and intractable obesity.
The Lap-Band is the favored bariatric procedure in Europe, while in the U.S., gastric bypass has been the preferred approach. At present, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is one of a few medical centers offering the Lap-Band option in this country.
The Lap-Band procedure, an approved treatment for adults with extreme obesity, has not yet been thoroughly studied in adolescents. Larger, multicenter studies with longer follow-up periods will be needed, Dr. Fennoy says, to validate the findings of the current study.
Source: New York – Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center news release