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Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. That figure represents more than 50% of the American adult population. Of this group, 11 million adults suffer from severe obesity.
Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI).
Click here to find out more about Body Mass Index BMI.
The American Obesity Association reports that obese individuals have a 50-100% increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals, with 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each year. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Obesity could be a combination of the following:
The adjustable gastric band is made of soft silicone and is equipped with a firmly attached inflatable balloon. This balloon is connected by a tube to an access port.
The band is positioned around the upper part of the stomach by keyhole (or laparoscopic) surgery so as to create a small pouch. This small pouch lies above the band and has a capacity of 15-20mL. The remaining stomach lies below the band. The band helps patients reduce weight by 2 mechanisms:
• By reducing the amount of food that an individual wants to eat by inducing a feeling of fullness after only half a cup of food; and
• By slowing down the emptying from the pouch above the band, thereby prolonging the feeling of fullness
The size of the pouch outlet is adjusted by adjusting the volume of fluid in the balloon through the access port. The access port is situated under the skin usually in the upper abdomen and is easily accessible by the treating doctor with a special needle.
Since the insertion of the adjustable gastric band does not involve any stapling, resection or shortening of any part of the stomach or intestines, the function of the digestive system remains intact. All ingested food will still be absorbed by the body the same way that it was before the operation. Weight loss is achieved by helping induce early feeling of satiety after eating considerably smaller amounts of food than before the surgery. It is most important to avoid foods of high caloric content, such as ice cream, custards and chocolates.