Lap band is a medical procedure that requires a short stay in the hospital. The doctor will make an incision in your abdomen, place a small band around your stomach that reduces its size and then close the incision. Originally designed for those who were significantly overweight, the FDA now allows patients to undergo the procedure with a lower body mass index than before. You can talk with your doctor about whether you qualify and find out if your insurance will cover the surgery, but you should look at what makes a good candidate.
Body Mass Index
The first indication that you are a good candidate for this type of surgery is when your body mass index falls above a certain number. Also known as BMI, it refers to the general mass of your body. Doctors compare your height to your current weight to determine your number. You must have a BMI of 40 or higher to qualify for the surgery. The FDA now recommends the surgery for those with a BMI of 30 or higher as well. If your BMI falls into this range, you must also suffer from at least one medical problem because of your weight.
Being obese or overweight can leave you susceptible to a number of medical conditions and leave you with poor health too. The most common condition is Type II Diabetes, which occurs when your body cannot process the sugar you eat. Diabetics often take prescription drugs or insulin shots to regular their blood sugar levels. Sleep apnea is another medical condition that can occur because of your weight. This leaves you struggling to breathe as you sleep, which leaves you waking frequently throughout the night. Other medical conditions that may make you a candidate for lap band surgery include acid reflux disease, arthritis and high blood pressure.
Some lap band surgery Tampa centers and facilities in other states now require that you make at least one attempt to lose weight on your own. The doctor might recommend a diet and exercise plan to see how well you can follow simple directions. Showing that you made a valid attempt to lose weight in the past and did not experience any success may make you a good candidate. Schedule an appointment with a surgical or weight loss center to see if you meet all the requirements for lap band surgery.