The New Life Surgery Center in Beverly Hills and the Valley Surgical Center in West Hills have stopped performing Lap-Band surgeries while they conduct a top-to-bottom review of the medical procedure. These two California clinics are affiliated with the 1-800 GET THIN marketing company and the move to stop procedures comes after Irvine-based Allergan’s announcement that it would stop selling the Lap-Band device to companies affiliated with the ad campaign.
The 1-800 GET THIN marketing company has been targeted in state and federal investigations in recent months. The Lap-Band is an adjustable ring that is surgically placed around the stomach in obese patients to reduce the amount of food eaten to spark weight loss. 1-800 GET THIN actually markets to those that need to lose weight and allows them to call or go to the web site to find a Lap-Band provider in the California area. The company offers insurance verification, orientation and will answer any questions you have about the surgery. Basically, this company advertises and markets Lap-Band surgeries through billboards and other traditional advertising methods.
The FDA has recently issued letters of warning for misleading advertising to 1-800 GET THIN and all eight of the California surgical centers affiliated with them. There is a class action lawsuit pending as well for anyone that responded to advertisements by 1-800 GET THIN for surgery. While these ads highlighted and glamorized the benefits of Lap-Band surgery, they didn’t address some of the drawbacks of the procedure.
Lap-Band surgery is not a guarantee of weight loss and some of the side effects can be debilitating. Although a Lap-Band can help patients feel full faster, they must adopt a portion-controlled diet and exercise program to keep the weight off. Following your doctor’s orders and the number of adjustments you have after the surgery can also affect your success greatly. If you are considering Lap-Band surgery, do your research, consult with multiple doctors and know all of the risk factors that are involved with this procedure. You should definitely never have a weight loss procedure or any surgery after being persuaded by an advertisement.