Does Weight Loss Surgery Work?

Ladd Atkins, D.O., bariatric surgeon for LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma, answers questions many have about weight loss surgery.

By: Derek& Becky Taylor | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: April 2011

Dr. Ladd Atkins, bariatric surgeon for LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma.

Dr. Ladd Atkins, bariatric surgeon for LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma.

Does weight loss surgery work? This is a question Ladd Atkins, D.O., bariatric surgeon for LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma, gets asked quite often. People also want to know how weight loss surgery works and if it’s safe.

There are various types of weight loss surgery. Which type of surgery is right for you depends on your health, weight loss goals, and what is covered by your insurance plan.

The LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma uses only the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System by Allergan. According to Dr. Atkins, “It is by far the safest weight loss surgery device on the market today. As far as I know, there has never been a death associated with the placement of the LAP-BAND®.”

Some doctors may discuss “lap band” surgery with their patients but not actually use the LAP-BAND® by Allergan. “We guarantee that you will get the LAP-BAND® by Allergan,” states Dr. Atkins. Adjustable Gastric Banding is the only weight loss surgery currently performed at LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma. It is much safer than stomach stapling or gastric bypass surgery because it’s minimally invasive, using laparoscopy.

The ideal patient has a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher with at least one comorbidity (secondary disorder or disease). These typically include type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis but can include many others. The patient generally wants to lose 30 to 100 pounds and is motivated to lose the weight. Your doctor or specialist can tell you if you are a candidate.

The benefits of having the surgery include: 50 to 80 percent excess weight loss, a high success rate, it’s adjustable, it can reverse type II diabetes, a quick recovery, and it is totally reversible. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis but sometimes involves an overnight stay.

Follow-ups are essential to achieving one’s weight loss goals and are generally done four to six weeks apart. According to Dr. Atkins, “Your follow-up meeting is always with a physician and generally involves measuring your weight loss against your goals and a slight adjustment of your LAP-BAND®. We want to get you into the ‘green zone’ (optimal band adjustment). Patients that are well-followed and well-adjusted have an 80 percent or better chance of achieving their weight loss goals. We want you to feel like you’re part of a family on your weight loss journey.”

According to Roberta Wagle, Bariatric Coordinator, many insurance companies cover the surgery. “I perform a benefit check and work with the patient and their insurance company to make sure they meet various requirements to prove medical necessity. Each insurance company has different requirements. After consultation with Dr. Atkins, patients will be required to have a psychological and nutritional consultation. Other testing may also be required,” says Roberta. Financing options are available for those without insurance coverage.

“After surgery, I follow up with the patient regularly to schedule their follow-ups, set up support group meetings, and answer any questions they have. It is our goal for the patient to succeed,” states Roberta.

The LAP-BAND® by Allergan is FDA approved for patients with a BMI of 30 and above. It is the only gastric banding system to have received that approval level.

To find out more, register to attend one of our free LAP-BAND® Seminars by calling (918) 392-2806 or visit our ­website at www.lapbandcenterof

For more information, contact

LAP-BAND® Center of Oklahoma

Pinnacle Specialty Hospital2408 E. 81st St., Ste. 600Tulsa, OK 74137(918)

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