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iVillage.com: The Biggest Health Trends of 2013

New Advances in Weight Loss Surgery

More than one third of the American population is considered obese and a growing number of people are turning to weight-loss surgery, like gastric bypass and gastric banding (Lap-Band) to improve their health and keep the weight off for good, says Angela Jack Glasnapp, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at Somerset Medical Center.

Now there are a some new weight-loss surgeries gaining in popularity. One relatively new procedure is the sleeve gastrectomy, where a surgeon removes approximately 85 percent of the patient’s stomach, converting it into a banana-shaped organ from its original football size. Another operation called gastric plication involves strategically placing stitches in the stomach to convert it into a smaller tube without actually cutting the stomach, Glasnapp explains. Both procedures help greatly restrict the volume of food patients can consume to spur weight loss.

To qualify for weight-loss surgery patients need to be 100 pounds (or more) overweight, or have a BMI of 35 or greater with obesity-related conditions, like diabetes. Talk with your doctor and insurance provider to find out which surgeries are covered, though many insurance companies don't yet cover the newer procedures, such as gastric placation, according to Glasnapp.

(CREDIT: David Sacks/The Image Bank/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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