An Alternative To The Gastric Band

February 17th, 2011
An Alternative To The Gastric Band

Obesity is one of the major health problems in the West today; in the US alone 34% of Americans age 20 and older are believed to be obese.

Traditionally, dieting combined with exercise is the major focus of people struggling to lose weight. But what of those who give up? Many consider having an operation to reduce the size of their stomach usually by means of a gastric band.

However this has one main problem – it isn’t a permanent solution. It can be reversed.

However there may be an alternative.

In the US a Los Angeles doctor, Marc Lussier has started offering his patients a new (and recently approved technique) called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) or Gastric Sleeve Surgery (GSS),

It isn’t a totally new technique although it has been around a couple of years (in the United States at least), but it is having a better success rate than traditional gastric band surgery, simply because it does offer permanent reduced stomach size.

While VSG is not reversible it does have one other advantage – the stomach continues to work normally; which means there are fewer dietary requirements. Not just that it can be used with people who ordinarily have been advised against surgery as it was not appropriate. As such, VSG is useful for people diagnosed as morbidly obese.

In contrast to this, many people are also opting to take hormone based diet tablets to help lose weight; the main compound is gonadotrophin, a hormone found in pregnant women’s urine.

Taking this hormone, whether in tablet or other form has grown in popularity, but scientists believe it is a scam; the products may also be dangerous. For instance, Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Centre at Yale University told reporters: “It is pure marketing hype, and a dreadful, dangerous diet. All of the weight loss is explained by the 500 calories”

He added: “I have reviewed the literature on HCG, and find no credible evidence that it produces weight loss. There is some potential toxicity of the HCG – related mostly to hormonal imbalances – but the greater danger is the calorie level. At caloric intake below 800, there is a risk of life-threatening protein deficiencies.”

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