Lap Band Surgery: FSA Eligibility
What is lap band surgery?
Lap band surgery, also known as a form of gastric banding, is an option for weight loss for those where obesity poses severe health complications. Clinically severe obesity is defined as those who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35. Some of the health problems that adults with obesity could experience include Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, severe sleep apnea, and others.
Lap band surgery is a laparoscopic surgical procedure in which a surgical band is placed around the top portion of the patient's stomach. This silicone band can be loosened or tightened by adding saline through a port that is placed underneath the skin of the abdomen. The surgery aims restrict the size of the stomach and the amount of food it can hold, as well as slowing the movement of food through the intestine.
The ultimate goal of the lap band surgery is to give assistance to severely obese individuals in losing weight. The lap band will alter the signals sent to the brain from the digestive system to allow for a sensation of fullness through the consumption of less food than normal. Over time, patients will visit their surgeons for intermittent lap band "fills," or gastric band adjustments that will take place to enhance weight loss. The lap band is meant to remain in place indefinitely and is not designed to be removed once the patient meets his/her goal weight (MedicineNet.com).
How much do lap band procedures cost?
On average, costs range from $20,000 to $25,000. Lap band surgery may be covered only under certain conditions:
- If the patient has at least one health problem linked to obesity
- If the procedure is suitable for the patient's medical condition
- If approved surgeons and facilities are involved