Governor Christie Gets the Lap-Band: Our Concerns

May 11, 2013
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weight loss surgery

weight loss surgery

The governor of New Jersey had a Lap-Band installed in February and has already lost 40 pounds – which is a little over 10 pounds a month. He had the band installed by a great surgeon, Dr. George Fielding, who himself has a Lap-Band. Of all the weight loss operations, the Lap-Band is the least invasive – with Governor Christie going in on a Saturday and leaving the same day.

The Lap-Band, while it is the easiest to install, is like all other weight loss operations and requires the following:

(a) That the lifestyle of the patient change quite a bit. We discovered of our patients who are the most successful they made one change – they cooked. In fact, of all the variables of success, the ability to cook was number one.

(b) Measuring foods: the band does not “restrict” the amount of food you can eat. You can eat as much as you want. What the band does is allow you to eat less without being hungry later. This is an important feature. This means it is up to the person to eat less, it is up to the band (which we can adjust) to make it so you won’t be hungry later.

(c) What the band does not do is: make you feel full. The band does not change the size of the stomach. Some people have the “illusion” they feel full, but that is just it – an illusion. If people use the band to “feel full” they will end up disappointed. It was concerning that Governor Christie said he felt full with less.

The advantage of the Lap-Band are many:

It is the least invasive of all the operations. It does not change your stomach or intestines.

It is the only weight loss surgery that is been tested and approved for patients who are not morbidly obese. We were one of the FDA test sites for that study, which we just completed. Patients who have as little as 30 pounds to loose were successful with the operation.

It still has risks – it is surgery, and with surgery comes complications. But the complications are less in centers where they specialize in the Lap-Band and taking care of patients after the surgery.

It is clear that those centers which don’t do many Lap-Bands have neither the good outcomes, and have more complications than centers that do more.

So if you are considering a band, be sure to go to a center that specializes not only in placing the band, but in taking care of you after. Especially if the surgeon is the one who takes care of you after the operation – not sending you to a staff member for adjustments.

Governor Christie talked with the NY Jets head coach, Rex Ryan about the band. Ryan managed to keep off 100 pounds since lap band surgery in 2011. He shared his tips for success.

1. Ask for help. Exercise and diets weren’t cutting it for me, and there came a time when I had to decide that enough was enough. I asked for help, and ultimately underwent the LAP-BAND AP(R) System procedure in 2011, which forced me to make a commitment to change my behavior for the long-term. I’ve lost a total of 115 pounds since the procedure, and I still have a ways to go. The bottom line is I now have a tool that keeps me on track and helps me stay disciplined with my eating habits.

2. Research your weight loss options.

3. Quick fixes don’t last. We all know people who have had the sleeve procedure, and probably lost a lot of weight effortlessly. But because the sleeve doesn’t require adjustments, many don’t follow up with their surgeons and don’t change their behaviors and therefore have regained their weight. The fact is, all weight loss surgeries will fail if you don’t change your behaviors.

4. Look for solutions that are right for you.

5. Set yourself up for success.

6. Go outside and get active. A healthy lifestyle includes smart eating and consistent exercise

7. Find a support network. For men, it’s easy for us to believe that we “choose” to be heavy and that all we need to do is get off the couch and go for a run to be healthier or leaner, but it’s not that simple. Whether it’s a family member, friend or nutritionist, finding allies who support your healthy lifestyle will help you maintain your weight goals.

8. Cut back on the snacks and junk food. That doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate your favorite foods altogether, but be smart about your choices and enjoy them in moderation. I’m a huge fan of Mexican food, so instead of depriving myself I’ll eat smaller portions and leave out sour cream.

9. Stay disciplined and change your behavior. When I’m on the road during the football season, it’s definitely more challenging to watch my weight, but I’ve been able to stay on track and even lose a few additional pounds by paying attention to portion size and incorporating exercise into my day. I also eat with the team when we’re on the road instead of going out

Below is Dr. Fielding’s commercial he did for the Lap-Band.  Dr. Fielding, like myself, does all the operations: the sleeve, the imbrication, but like Dr. Fielding, we recommend the Lap-Band for almost all cases of obesity.  Dr. Fielding is not only a surgeon, he is a patient – and a friend.

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