New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie revealed earlier this week that he had secretly undergone Lap-Band surgery in February to bring his weight under control, a top Christie aide told ABC News.
Lap-Band surgery is among the less-invasive forms of gastric band surgery.According to the company’s website,the procedure is performed laparoscopically,meaning the surgeon makes a few small incisions in the abdomen,then uses long,thin surgical instruments to encircle the stomach with a silicone and titanium band.
Although as with any weight-loss surgery, the goal is massive weight loss, Dr. Jaime Ponce, a bariatric surgeon and president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, explained that Lap-Band surgery differed from other types of weight-loss operations.
According to Ponce, the most popular type of bariatric surgery is gastric bypass. This involves cutting the stomach into smaller pouches, then rerouting the digestive tract to reduce the amount of food eaten and the amount of nutrients the body absorbs. Gastric bypass accounts for more than 50 percent of the 200,000 or so bariatric surgeries performed in the United States each year.
Another surgery, gastric sleeve, involves removing about 80 percent of the stomach, Ponce explained. He said this type of surgery also diminished the hunger-regulating hormones, so one of its benefits is that hunger is greatly reduced compared to other types of surgeries.
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical correspondent, said he believed the governor may have chosen Lap-Band because it restricts food intake without making any surgical alterations to the digestive tract.