Dr. Johnell shares the age at which patients can opt to have adjustable band bariatric surgery. Dr. Johnell is an advanced laparoscopic bariatric surgeon at the Banner North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado.
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Age Requirements for Adjustable Band Bariatric Surgery Adjustable gastric banding surgery or lap band surgery is available to a wide age group. We actually see patients aged 17 and by the time they go through the pre-operative process, they have turned to age 18 and at age 18, we would offer a patient who needs a banding procedure. The reason that we don’t do patients under age 18 is that the procedure is not FDA approved for adolescents yet. There are some programs in this country that are offering adolescence adjustable gastric banding procedures. But these are usually done under an institutional review board, so it is experimental. It’s not covered by insurance and so it is a cash option for them. Hopefully, this surgery will become more available to adolescents as insurance companies realize that adolescents can benefit greatly from the procedure and once the procedure is FDA approved as well. Initially, we did have upper age limit for the lap banding procedure. However, because we've recognized the high degree of safety in the procedure, we have taken that upper age limit completely away. And so everybody is treated as an individual at the initial consultation. And we have operated on patients in their 70’s. But those patients need to be good candidates for the operation and not have real serious medical problems that may exclude them from having a safe operation.

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