HOUSTON (January 09, 2015)

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center now offers lap band evaluations for patients who have undergone previous weight-loss surgery.

Weight-loss surgery has increased 30-fold in the past ten years. As with all surgery, there are risk factors, including gastric band slippage which affects about one in 50 patients. Symptoms of this condition include heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.

“There are people who had bands placed in the past who may now need to be evaluated. As time passes, the band may need refilling or even removing,” said Trudy Ivins, Weight Loss Surgery Coordinator at Memorial Hermann Memorial City.

Frequently called lap band after the brand of gastric band used, gastric banding is a restrictive surgical procedure designed to control and reduce food intake without interfering with the body's normal digestive process. During a lap band procedure, the surgeon implants a medical device - a silicone band with an injection port. The silicone band is placed around the upper part of the patient’s stomach to mold it into two connected chambers. The port allows the band to be made tighter or looser. These adjustments help achieve the correct amount of restriction in order for the patient to lose weight, but also to ensure proper nutrition.

Weight loss surgeons affiliated with Memorial Hermann perform more than 700 bariatric procedures annually – more than any other weight loss program in Houston. In addition, patients at Memorial Hermann have the support of dietitians, psychological counselors, and experienced bariatric nurses who work to address eating behavior, metabolism, self-esteem, body image, and relationship changes. Peer support groups, educational speakers, and insurance experts also are available.

Memorial Hermann Memorial City has been recognized as a fully accredited Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). ACS designates as MBSAQIP Centers only those programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes for weight loss surgery. The rate of complications for MBSAQIP Centers is extremely low.