SMC performs lap band surgery - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

SMC performs lap band surgery

Lawton_It's the first of its kind ever performed in southwest Oklahoma - lap band surgery. On Monday, doctors at Southwestern Medical Center performed not one, but three, of these procedures that will help patients lose excess body weight and keep it off. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, the lap band is reversible and much less invasive. In addition to those benefits, southwest Oklahomans now don't have to travel far for the procedure.

   Dr. Daniel Igwe says all three patients are doing very well and their one hour surgeries couldn't have gone smoother. He says the procedure is both a physical improvement and psychological.

  Rodney Baker says his wife Katreece finally got the surgery she's been wanting for a long time. "I think she'll carry herself better with losing some weight," said Rodney.

  "They become more active, they can do things they never used to do, they become less of a social outcast, they go out and shop and wear wonderful clothing," said Dr. Igwe. The procedure involves putting a band in a person's stomach.  The band restricts people from eating and decreases the appetite to eat.

  But Dr. Igwe says the lap band isn't a miracle weight loss procedure. He assures all his patients winning the battle against the bulge can't be done with just this band. "Surgery is a tool patients have to do part of the work, and that includes watching what you eat, exercise programs, and attending support group meeting," said Dr. Igwe.

   65 percent of Oklahomans are overweight. That's why Dr. Igwe says the availability of the lap band procedure in southwest Oklahoma is important.  The Bakers live in Cache and have school-age children.  It would have been nearly impossible for his wife to have the procedure if they had been forced to travel.  "It's going to work out good, they're in school right now, so by the time we get out of here I'll be at home and I have my parents close to us right next door," said Rodney.

  The team at Southwestern Medical Center says four more people are being screened for potential candidates. If you want to learn more about the lap band procedure, the hospital will hold a seminar at the Hampton Inn on January 5th at 6 o'clock.

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