Lap-Band Surgery May Become Available for Less Obese

The FDA is considering allowing people with a lower BMI to have the surgery.

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MSNBC is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration is considering a request by Allergan, Inc. to approve lap-band procedures for people with a lower BMI than what is currently required. The company is seeking FDA approval to promote the Lap-Band for adults with a BMI of 35 or higher, or at least 30 plus one weight-related health problem, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some are concerned that wider approval could boost sales exponentially. The article reported that a conservative estimate of Lap-Band sales could indicate a rise to $390 million by 2016.

The device, which is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch and limit food intake, already gets two-thirds of the $300 million to $400 million gastric-band market. Allergan says it studied 149 patients in the less obese group. Nearly 81 percent of them lost at least 30 percent of their weight at one year, FDA reviewers said. The FDA still has some questions about the data.

If approved, this procedure would mean that people who need to lose weight to fight other diseases, like diabetes, would be able to do so. For those with diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses that plague the African-American community, it could be a lifesaver. But then again, you could change your diet, eat less and exercise more.

Read more at MSNBC.