Letter to the Editor

| August 18, 2011

Dear Bariatric Times Editor:

In the July 2011 issue of Bariatric Times, Dr. Rosenthal made the following statement in his editorial message: “The group of patients with BMIs between 30 to 35kg/mg[2] is probably the most important topic to discuss in bariatric surgery. While the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves adjustable gastric banding for the treatment of obesity in this BMI category, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which continues to neglect the most prevalent disease in America and has not updated guidelines since 1991, does not support surgical treatment in this BMI category, andthe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) probably do not even know what we are talking about.”

I applaud Dr. Rosenthal’s accurate observation of the blatant neglect our government has demonstrated toward the disease of obesity. I would also like to clarify his statement by adding that the FDA specifically approved the Lap-Band® (not adjustable gastric banding in general) for weight reduction for patients with obesity with a BMI of at least 40kg/m2 or BMI of at least 30kg/m[2] with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. This labeling change applies only to Lap-Band®. This distinction is important to educate and protect surgeons who may be using a different gastric band product off label in a patient with a BMIs of 30kg/m[2].

With regards,

Christine Ren Fielding, MD, FACS, FASMBS
New York, New York

Category: Letters to the Editor

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