Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Archive for the ‘Teens and Lap Bands’ Category

Lap Bands and Weight Loss For Teens

Posted by Lori on July 9, 2009

Well, here’s some good news. The medical professional is starting to get confident about weight loss surgery for teenagers. I was a tiny little thing when I was teenager, and that was plenty traumatic as it was. I can’t even imagine what it is like to face your teen years obese.

— The study was led by Drs. Ilene Fennoy, Jeffrey Zitsman and colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center and presented at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in Washington, D.C.

A new study of obese adolescents has shown that laparoscopic gastric banding surgery — the “Lap-Band” procedure — not only helps them achieve significant weight loss but can also improve and even reverse metabolic syndrome, reducing their risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of risk factors — high blood pressure; low levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol; excessive abdominal fat; and elevated levels of blood sugar, C-reactive protein and triglycerides — that increase a person’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes later in life. The single biggest risk factor is obesity, and metabolic syndrome usually improves when a person loses weight.

Metabolic syndrome is something that most of us who are obese wrestle with, but to have to deal with this cluster of syndromes as a teenager must be just terrible.

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.

For more information, patients may call (866) NYP-NEWS.

There is a lot of scholarship now that is validating the desirability of weight loss surgery for teens. Doctors are eager to see kids avoid the diseases that obese people develop as they age. What this study shows though is that the kids are getting the diseases early.  No one should have hypertension at 14. It’s just crazy.

In Mexico, Dr. Ariel Ortiz has been one of the foremost surgeons providing obese teenagers with the Lap Band. His site has a fair amount of information, as well as interviews with several of the teens that he has worked with.  If you’re considering this option your teen, Dr. Ortiz is a wonderful resource as well.


Posted in Lap Band Studies, Teens and Lap Bands | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lap Band YouTube Blogger Ashley’s Amazingly Well Documented Before and After Lap Band Story

Posted by Lori on May 5, 2008

I’ve had Ashley’s Lap Band blog, The Band In Me, linked on my blogroll for several weeks now. She’s a twenty-something Lap Bandee in Seattle, Washington who has amassed a pretty amazing series of videos on YouTube. She starts 1.5 weeks before surgery. She weighs 235 and has just lost five pounds.

Cut to a year later. Here she is two weeks ago, talking about her progress.

The amazing thing is that she has a total of 51 videos online in addition to her blog. Here’s the link to her channel at YouTube where you can see all of her videos. Ashley certainly doesn’t pull her punches on the complications of a Lap Band but talks about how worthwhile she has found it to be.

FYI, she had her surgery done at Northwest Weight Loss Surgery in Everett, Washington. These people have a great site with a lot of information available to prospective patients although a lot of it is applicable to everyone regardless of where you’re having surgery. Here’s their page on how to approach your insurance company for coverage. They have an active study going on about adolescents and Lap Bands and accept teenagers for surgery starting at age fourteen. They have offices in Yakima, Bellingham and Spokane as well.

There’s a lot of information here. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Posted in Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Teens and Lap Bands, Video Blogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Forum For Lap Bands and Teens

Posted by Lori on April 24, 2008

I was just looking around Lap Band Talk – an absolutely superb forum for people interested in Lap Bands – and discovered that thave a forum for teenagers who have questions about Lap Bands. The youngest bandee is fifteen though I know surgeons are doing Lap Band procedures on adolescents as young as twelve.

If you’re a parent of a teenager wrestling with obesity, some of the surgeons with New Hope Bariatrics work with teens as do several of the clinics in Mexico. Before you get the willies about going out of country for surgery on your child, just know that most of the surgeons who do Lap Band procedures in the US were actually trained by doctors from Mexico. Dr. Rumbaut, Dr. Ariel Ortiz, and Dr. Lopez Corvala all have a vast amount of experience working with Lap Bands.

Here’s a very brief assessment of a study on teens and Lap Bands, just in case you’re nervous that it’s completely inappropriate.

Posted in Lap Band Studies, Teens and Lap Bands | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Study Looking For Obese Teens For Lap Band

Posted by Lori on April 8, 2008

I know I have a lot of people checking to find out whether Lap Bands are appropriate for adolescents. I’ve featured several stories about kids who have lost a tremendous amount of weight with Lap Bands and are much happier for it. The key is that you must be serious about losing weight and be capable of eating reasonably.

If you’re a teenager in Southern California, and you’re interesting in having a Lap Band procedure, UCSD may be looking for you.

Millions of adults have turned to surgery when diet and exercise don’t work. Now, with childhood obesity sharply on the rise, researchers are exploring whether surgery may be a viable option for teens. As part of a multi-center clinical trial, UCSD Medical Center will evaluate whether or not a minimally invasive procedure called gastric banding is a safe and effective weight loss treatment in obese adolescents ages 14-17.
“Gastric banding is known to be highly successful in adults. The question to answer is whether or not the procedure can help morbidly obese teens, who on average are overweight by more than 100 pounds,” said Santiago Horgan, M.D., director of the UCSD Center for the Treatment of Obesity. “Over a period of five years, we will closely monitor the patient’s weight, in addition to their overall health and well being.”

Here is the short version of what they are looking for:

The nationwide study population will consist of 150 adolescents recruited from seven weight management centers. Twenty two participants will be recruited at UCSD Medical Center. Potential participants must demonstrate a history of obesity for at least two years and have failed more conservative non-surgical weight-reduction alternatives such as a supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs.

And here is their contact info along with a statement of purpose by the researching physician:

“By addressing obesity at an early age, we may be able to avoid life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression,” said Horgan who has performed more than 1,000 gastric banding procedures. “In the long run this could potentially save billions of dollars now spent on obesity related healthcare.”

UCSD Medical Center has a comprehensive program dedicated to the holistic treatment of obesity. Through a compassionate team approach, patients and their families are offered leading-edge medical care combined with nutritional training, fitness counseling, and psychological support.

To learn more about the gastric banding clinical trial for adolescents, including potential risks and side effects, call UCSD Medical Center at 619-471-0447 or email

This press release is from last summer, so the program may be full already, but it seems to me that if you’re a teenager who needs to lose over 100 pounds, it would be more than worth it to contact them and see what the story is.

Posted in Lap Band, Lap Band Studies, Teens and Lap Bands | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Great Teen Lap Band Story

Posted by Lori on March 21, 2008

So, I get off on kicks and read everything I can find. While looking for articles about lap band studies on kids, I found this article by Andrew Binion for the Kitsap Sun – which is quite lovely. It’s about then 12 year old Hannah Siparek. Her mother, Marsha, had wrestled with obesity her entire life. She was never full regardless of how much she ate. Now, her beloved daughter was wrestling with the same problem.

At 12, on the verge of the cruelest year of adolescence, Hannah stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed about 290 pounds. She could eat and eat and never feel full. She showed early signs of Type 2 diabetes. She loved soccer but couldn’t force her overburdened frame to run the field.

“She was always hungry, and she kept getting bigger and bigger,” said Marsha, who like Hannah, didn’t get the full, satisfied feeling that tells a person to stop eating.

Less than two years ago, Hannah was a morbidly obsese 290 pounds. Today, she packs just 150 pounds on her 5-feet, 5-inch frame and plays soccer — thanks to lap-band surgery she had in Mexico that shrunk her stomach, and her once-endless appetite for food.

“You have this infillable hunger, and it’s not just in your mind,” she said. “You’re just starvin

Mom had the Lap Band procedure and was quite happy with the results:

For Marsha, the results were dramatic. For the first time, when she ate, she felt full — and didn’t eat any more after that. She has lost, and kept off, 100 pounds since the surgery in November 2005.

Marsha was interested in getting the procedure for 12 year old Hannah, but none of the US doctors would agree to it because of her age. Finally, Dr. Pedro Kuri, who had performed Marsha’s surgery agreed to see Hannah. He’s performed over 3500 lap band surgeries and had operated on children as young as 12.

“Sometimes I have my doubts about teenagers because they don’t act like an adult,” Kuri said during a phone interview. “I have adults that don’t act like they should.”

Teenagers must have a long, serious conversation with him beforehand, and he has refused to perform the implant on teens who weren’t mature enough. He said Hannah was a self-possessed, confident, emotionally mature girl, and having a long talk with her convinced Kuri she could carefully watch what she ate.

He has given implants to 15-year-olds, a 14-year-old recently and a 12-year-old other than Hannah. He said the procedure doesn’t interfere with the maturation process. And, Kuri added, if left unchecked, the teens and Hannah would be beyond morbidly obese by the time they are in their 20s.

All told, he’s performed more than 3,500 surgeries over the past 10 years. And 99 percent of the patients were American, he said.

Age sometimes is the deciding factor. He was approached about putting the implant in a 10-year-old.

Now, fourteen years old, Hannah is slender and pretty:

As a result, Hannah is now a 150-pound, 5-foot-10-inch 14-year-old who hangs around the house in soccer shorts and dismisses talk of turning to basketball. Because of her age, Marsha said, her skin shrunk back in with her frame.

“She lost a whole person,” Marsha said, who hopes the implants are approved for other obese children as young as Hannah.

Hannah’s life is dramatically different now, than it likely would have been:

At first, Hannah didn’t have much interest in being a “bandster,” as Marsha calls it, and she didn’t have self-confidence problems. But as she watched her mom lose weight, and become happier, she came around to the idea.

Hannah said she has a sense of what life would be like without the band. She would not have lost the weight, she might have gotten heavier, and she would have likely dropped out of school. Marsha said she would have been home-schooled.

“I feel like a whole new person, I can finally be the kid I want to be,” she said. “When I was big, I’d stand in the middle of the field and wait for the ball to come to me.

“Now I go for the ball.”

One of the things I like about this article is that it has Hannah’s yearly portraits starting at age 3. You can see how severely obese she is. And how well she’s turned out now. It’s a great story and hopefully, we’ll see more kids rescued in the future as well.

Posted in Lap Band, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Teens and Lap Bands, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More on Teens and Lap Bands

Posted by Lori on March 21, 2008

“You don’t want to wait until they are adults and having heart attacks,”
Dr. Marc Bessler – New York Presbyterian Hospital

I’m looking around a little bit more on this subject of adolescents and Lap Bands. There seems to be a concensus that it’s an appropriate for surgery for kids starting somewhere around the age of thirteen. There have been a number of studies done and the results are all pretty positive – which is good news, I think. I’m sure more than a few of my readers were overweight as teenagers, and I’m betting it’s a painful way to go through some tough years.

Here’s a study from the NYU Medical Center:

Lap band surgery was performed on 53 morbidly obese adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, according to the study. Most of the patients were girls. People are considered morbidly obese when their body mass index is at 40 or above, usually about 100 pounds overweight.

The patients in the study had a history of obesity for at least 5 years and many had conditions commonly found in obese adults such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea. They had also tried unsuccessfully to lose weight on numerous diet and exercise regimens, including medically supervised weight loss, according to the study. All of the adolescents were screened by a psychologist to ensure that they would comply with the study protocol.

The first conclusion of the article is that the Lap Band is safer than a gastric bypass:

“This study suggests that the lap band provides a safer and equally effective weight loss strategy compared to the gastric bypass,” said Evan Nadler, M.D., Director of Pediatric Minimally Invasive Surgery and Assistant Professor of Surgery at New York University School of Medicine, who is the lead author of the study. “This is good news for parents contemplating obesity surgery for their adolescent children. The bypass has serious risks and side effects associated with it and our study shows that the band provides similar weight loss benefits without the same risks.” Intestinal leakage and bleeding, blockage of the intestines, and severe nutritional deficiency are some of the side effects associated with the bypass procedure.

And then, the kids lose weight:

According to the study, twelve and eighteen months following their surgery, the average weight loss for each patient was about 50 percent of excess weight, a figure comparable to weight loss following a gastric bypass procedure. None of the patients regained any lost weight, which has occurred after gastric bypass procedures, said Dr. Nadler.

There were a few complications but they were all minor and did not require hospitalization:

Complications were found to be significantly less severe with the band procedure as well. None of the gastric band patients in the study had complications that required readmission to the hospital. Two patients experienced slippage of the band, two patients developed hiatal hernias, and one patient had a wound infection. All of these conditions were treated by outpatient procedures. According to the study, a few patients also experienced mild hair loss and iron deficiency which were treated with nutritional counseling and vitamin supplementation.

Posted in Lap Band, Lap Band Basics, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Teens and Lap Bands | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »