UNION, NJ — The Federal Drug Administration [FDA] approved the expanded use of Allergen’s LAP-BAND® system for weight reduction in patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30-40 with a least one obesity-related co-morbid condition such as type II diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea. BMI, calculated from a person’s height and weight, is the standard medical indicator of obesity. Standard medical care dictates that a person with a BMI greater than 40 falls into the obese range, and is eligible for bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass, LAP-BAND®, REALIZE® Band and sleeve gastrectomy procedures (Calculate your BMI).

“The FDA approval of the LAP-BAND® system at a lower BMI gives people with serious health-related conditions due to obesity another option to combat them,” says Dr. Ajay Goyal, founder of the New Jersey Bariatric Center®. “While this approval by the FDA lowers the threshold to have LAP-BAND® surgery, the fact still remains that the decision to have this weight loss procedure is a serious one and should be made in consultation with a board-certified, fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon. When considering surgery it’s important to remember that weight loss surgery is a tool; it only works in conjunction with lifestyle modifications including exercise and healthy eating.”

“Unfortunately, obesity, and the health-related conditions associated with it, is a growing health problem in our country today,” says Dr. Glenn Forrester, surgeon at the New Jersey Bariatric Center®. “According to the Center for Disease Control’s [CDC] Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system the obesity rate in New Jersey continues to climb, from less than 10% of the population in the early nineties to today having more than 23% of the New Jersey population falling into the obese category. This trend is not slowing down, which means it’s important for people battling this disease, and the health-related conditions that accompanies it, to have as many safe and effective options as possible. The expanded use approval by the FDA shows that LAP-BAND® surgery is one of them, and can have a significant effect, combined with a balanced diet and exercise, on combating obesity.”