Consumer Health Features
Bariatric surgeon says Lap Band is safest route to shedding pounds for super obese
By April MacIntyre Jul 2, 2012, 4:41 GMT
Santa Monica surgeon Dr. Carson Liu prepares a patient for weight-loss surgery. Liu thinks the surgery helps reverse diabetes by forcing patients to eat more healthfully. courtesy of Dr. Liu and (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
The NEJM study released in April tested ways to manage blood sugar in teens with diabetes and found that nearly half the teens failed to control their blood sugar within a few years and that one in five suffered serious complications.
Fat teens who develop diabetes are doomed to a shortened life span and chronic health issues. Therefore, it is imperative that drastic measures such as weight loss surgery be considered for adolescents 10- to 17 years old, said Santa Monica bariatric surgeon, Dr. Carson Liu.
Dr. Liu, one of the most respected bariatric surgeons in the country, started the minimally invasive bariatric program at UCLA before opening his own practice in Santa Monica, CA. He's on Allergan's board for selection of doctors for the Lap-Band, and is a research doctor as well. He just presented three papers at the ASMBS bariatric surgery conference in San Diego recently.
"Prevention is key and parents must help their kids get well. Diet, exercise and the elimination of all sugars and processed foods is essential to shock their systems back to health," says Dr. Liu.
"For the worse cases, reversible surgery such as the Lap Band, I + Band and No Band are excellent options and should be immediately considered. The longer blood sugar goes unchecked, the greater the risk of vision loss, kidney failure limb amputation, nerve damage, heart attack or strokes."
Dr. Liu is worried that the negative press Bariatric surgery got from the 1-800 Get Thin doctors that Dr. Drew Pinsky even signed on to promote has tarnished a safe way to tackle extreme obesity.
"The Lap-Band in reality, is BY FAR the safest of the bariatric surgery options, and should be receiving a more favorable infusion of exposure, for all the right reasons. It helps fool the brain into thinking the stomach is full."
Dr. Liu says that he "operates on the guts to get to the patient's brain." After the surgery Dr. Liu has a post-surgery support program to help the patient adjust their lifestyle behavior so the Lap-Band can do its job, that is, continue to fool the brain.
Currently Dr. Liu is helping a family of four obese parents and children with Lap-Band surgery, and they are all losing weight together as a family.
Dr. Liu in the press: http://bit.ly/K4kTkZ