Lap-Band® for Lower BMI Patients
The FDA approved a fundamental change to Lap-Band® qualification guidelines that opens up the possibility of weight loss surgery to hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents. About 24% of all New Jersey residents are obese, meaning that they have a BMI of 30 or above. The guidelines suggest that bariatric surgery is a viable option for those suffering from obesity that have a Body Mass Index (BMI) as low as 30 with obesity related diseases.
Previously, patients had to have a BMI of 35 or more with one or more obesity related diseases or a BMI of 40 or over, with or without obesity related diseases.
These new qualifications only apply to those considering Lap-Band® surgery. The previous guidelines apply to all other surgical weight loss procedures.
This decision does not necessarily mean that insurance companies will start covering the procedure for those with the lower BMI. Rather, it may take months or years for this to happen. That means that for now, patients will have to self-pay or finance the Lap-Band® procedure if they fall into the 30-34.9 body mass index range. Insurance companies will continue to dictate their own qualification requirements now and in the future, so it is important to speak to your insurance company when you are considering bariatric surgery. We can also help you verify your benefits before surgery.
For more information on having Lap-Band® surgery at Advanced Surgical Associates, please contact our office and register for a free weight loss surgery seminar. At the seminar, you will be able to learn more about the Lap-Band® and other weight loss surgery procedures available to you.