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UIC offers new weight loss surgery for obese teens

e incisions, during outpatient surgery. It offers several advantages over gastric bypass surgery, including reduced pain, a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.

During LAP-BAND surgery, an adjustable silicone band is placed around the stomach to help the patient lose weight. The band separates the stomach into a small upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. When patients eat, the small upper pouch fills quickly, leaving the patient feeling full.

The band is connected to an access port just under the skin on the abdomen. The port allows the physician to adjust the tightness of the band by adding or removing fluid. This adjustability allows the system to change to suit the patient's weight loss needs, such as during illness or pregnancy.

Placement of the adjustable gastric band does not require any cutting or stapling of the stomach or bypass of the intestines. The band can also be removed at any time, unlike irreversible gastric bypass surgery, and the stomach returns to normal.

In studies, the mortality rate for the LAP-BAND surgery is approximately 0.01 percent, compared to 0.5 percent among gastric bypass patients. The incidence and severity of surgical complications are also significantly reduced.

Obesity is the second leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is increasingly affecting children and adolescents. In the United States, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of adolescents are obese.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents has doubled in the past two decades.

"It's clear that obesity is a costly public health issue in the United States when it's estimated that more than five percent of the population is severely overweight," said Dr. Allen Browne, associate professor of surgery and program director for the adolescent bariatric program at UIC. "As pediatric surgeons, we feel strongly that the adjustab
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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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