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.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking action against eight surgical centers that perform LAP-Band surgeries in California. The FDA says the clinics, along with the marketing firm 1-800-GET-THIN LLC, are misleading consumers with an ad campaign on highway billboards and advertising inserts. The agency says that the 1-800-GET-THIN ads do not properly communicate the risks associated with gastric surgery and for making inflated weight loss claims.
The ads feature thin women and slogans like “Your New Years Resolution Now!” and “Lose Weight With The LAP-Band.” The company is also offering complementary insurance-checks.
The LAP-Band is an adjustable device which is implanted around the stomach of obese patients, effectively creating a smaller stomach pouch and helping patients feel full more easily. The FDA warns that individuals should thoroughly discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of invasive surgery. “It’s particularly troublesome when advertisements don’t communicate the serious risks associated with medical devices,” said Steve Silverman, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in a statement.
I’m Andi Guthrie, a wife, mother of two and Naunie to one. I am also a two-time cancer survivor diagnosed first at the age of 22 when my children were 4.5-years old and six-months old. I’m a fighter that never gave up and never had pity upon myself. Thyroid cancer was my first cancer and it had spread into my lymph nodes and also my parathyroid. I went to the doctor because I was unable to lose the weight after the birth of our daughter and I had never had a weight issue before. This was when the doctor found a tumor in my neck and two weeks later I was having the first of two surgeries.
Since that time I have been battling to lose weight and have not been successful. I’ve used diet pills, I tried out for the Biggest Loser twice, then finally was approved for LAP-band surgery. It was at that point when I was picking up the phone to schedule my surgery that I could not rightfully admit that I had 100 percent tried to lose weight the healthy way on my own. Instead of scheduling surgery I cancelled all appointments and removed my name from the surgery list. On January 25, 2010 I started my journey of a happier, healthier me and have given this journey 100 percent of me! (more…)
Many who have struggled with their weight for a lifetime look to weight loss surgery methods like gastric bypass or the lap-band procedure to solve their weight problems. While these types of surgeries are successful for some people, many others still struggle after their operation.
For those with underlying psychological food issues, weight loss surgery can trigger other eating disorders. According to a 2007 Harvard study, 60 percent of all individuals seeking surgical treatment for obesity suffer from an eating disorder, usually binge eating. Those that have a previously unhealthy relationship with food and their body are at a higher risk of succumbing to other eating disorders after their operation.
Lap band and gastric bypass surgeries don’t typically create an eating disorder if there wasn’t previously one there. The major problem is that some who have these unhealthy food relationships have either left them untreated, or been unsuccessful in treatment prior to surgery. For binge eaters, the body cannot physically handle binge eating after surgery.
LAP-Band surgery is not a guarantee of weight loss, but new research shows that the number of post-operative adjustments can greatly impact a patient’s success. Conducted by David A. Nguyen, B.A., Grace J. Kim, B.A. and Carson D. Liu, M.D. of Skylex Advanced Surgical practice in California, the study analyzed the medical records of over 600 LAP-Band patients.
“For the patients who are able to make it back to their surgeon’s office, the adjustments are the key answer to continuing weight loss,” Dr. Carson Liu told DietsInReview in an interview.
The LAP-Band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, which allows patients to feel full after eating a small amount, roughly a half cup of food. The contents of this upper compartment then slowly pass through the band’s opening and are digested normally. “Once patients start to lose 30 to 40 pounds, a lot of the fat that is around the stomach and within the stomach wall is burned off, and they need to have that band filled,” said Dr. Liu. Each time the band is adjusted, it’s filled with a saline solution of isotonic salt water, tightening the opening.