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UIC offers new weight loss surgery for obese teens

Surgeons at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago now offer laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, or LAP-BAND, for weight loss in severely obese teens.

The minimally invasive procedure is the only adjustable and reversible surgical weight-loss option available in the United States.

UIC is the only medical center in the United States currently involved in a Food and Drug Administration-approved protocol to study the safety and effectiveness of the LAP-BAND system in patients under age 18. Teens who do not qualify for the study may still be eligible for the procedure.

The LAP-BAND system, manufactured by INAMED Health, was approved by the FDA in June 2001 for use in adults. It has not received FDA approval for use in teens.

In the current trial, 50 patients ages 14 to 17 will be enrolled in a five-year study to look at weight loss and the long-term medical effects of weight loss after the LAP-BAND procedure.

In addition to surgery, patients will receive nutrition and psychological counseling. They will also be involved in a physical activity and behavior management program.

The surgery is available for teens with a body mass index of at least 35 and one or more obesity related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, or musculoskeletal, gynecological or psychological problems.

It is also available for teens with a body mass index of greater than 40 with no other health problems. Patients must have a history of obesity for at least five years, including failed attempts at diet and medical management of their obesity.

"This surgery is not for kids who wear husky jeans," said Dr. Mark Holterman, associate professor of surgery and chief of the division of pediatric surgery at UIC. "We're talking about kids who will die prematurely due to complications related to their obesity."

The adjustable gastric band is usually placed laparoscopically, requiring only small keyhol
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Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez
smcginn@uic.edu
312-996-8277
University of Illinois at Chicago
22-Feb-2005


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