When is Lap-Band Medically Necessary?
Lap-Band surgery can be an effective weight loss and management method, but it’s not a procedure that should be the first attempt at shedding excess pounds. When diet and exercise and other methods to successfully lose weight fail and other factors are involved, however, adjustable gastric band surgery may become medically necessary. Here’s what you need to know when making this determination.
Serious Health Risks without Intervention
People who are seriously overweight tend to have medical conditions that are affected by weight in one way or another. If you have serious health risks such as severe sleep apnea, heart disease that may be more treatable after weight loss as you change your diet, or diabetes that is difficult to control because of your weight, Lap-Band surgery may be deemed medically necessary.
In order to be considered an ideal candidate for adjustable banding, it must be determined that any underlying conditions you may have will likely improve with weight loss. Additionally, most doctors go by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines for surgical weight loss suggesting that patients must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or have a weight-related condition with a BMI between 35 and 40.
Quality of Life is Being Noticeably Affected
The impact on your quality of life may be considered when determining medical necessity for Lap-Band surgery and whether or not the procedure will likely benefit you. Carrying around extra pounds often results in a significant lack of energy and other issues that can have an impact on how you live your life. Patients may also experience:
- Recurring disruptions to sleep cycles
- Trouble breathing when climbing stairs or with other daily movements
- Issues with posture that may trigger back and joint pain
- Difficulty exercising due to discomfort from obesity-related conditions
- Persistent problems with mobility
There’s a Family History of Weight-Related Issues
Family history is sometimes considered when determining if Lap-Band surgery is medically necessary. There’s evidence suggesting that some people may be genetically predisposed to gaining weight. Genetics can also play a role in hunger sensations and other issues that can make it difficult to lose weight with traditional methods. Family history is also considered in terms of weight-related medical conditions that may run in your family, such as type 2 diabetes and chronic high blood pressure.