Metabolic Syndrome and the Lap Band

April 30, 2013

New data from the School of Medicine here at NYU showed that laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band) surgery can be effective at resolving metabolic syndrome in the long term. Most candidates for weight loss surgery have weight-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or obstructive sleep apnea. Obese people are also at a higher risk for a lesser-known condition called metabolic syndrome, which is closely linked to carrying excess weight and inactivity. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that multiply a person's risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Some of the factors include abdominal obesity, a high triglyceride level, a low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and insulin resistance. The research involved 50 patients with body mass index (BMI) of 30-40 who underwent Lap-Band surgery. While almost half of the patients met metabolic syndrome criteria at the start of the study, by one year post-surgery, metabolic syndrome had resolved in all but a handful of these patients. The resolution continued as much as 5 years after surgery. In addition, the researchers observed improvements in the individual factors of the syndrome--such as blood pressure and blood sugar levels--and a reduction in use of diabetes and antihypertensive medications. The study participants also saw significant weight loss results, with the groups average BMI dropping from 35 to 27.9 at year 5. NYU Langone's Dr. Christine Ren Fielding, was involved with the study, and said "Many people, including physicians, feel that bariatric surgery should be reserved for the 'morbidly obese', classified as having BMI well over 40. However, we know that individuals with BMI as low as 30 suffer from metabolic syndrome and benefit from bariatric surgery. Since the vast majority of patients experienced long-term improvement or resolution of their metabolic syndrome, the findings support the importance of health benefits, rather than weight requirements only, as an indication for surgery." You can learn more about Lap-Band surgery here, or by attending one of our free information sessions.