Lap Band Surgery: Jets Coach Rex Ryan's Weight-Loss Procedure, Explained

Lap Band Surgery, Explained

Jets head coach Rex Ryan announced yesterday that, thanks to lap band surgery, he's now tipping the scales at 242 -- 106 pounds lighter than when he underwent the procedure in March of 2010, the New York Daily News reported.

Now, Ryan weighs about the same as recently-acquired backup quarterback, Tim Tebow, according to Bloomberg.

Lap band surgery, or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, limits food intake by making the stomach smaller with an inflatable silicon ring that is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, according to WebMD. People who undergo the surgery feel fuller faster, as the stomach can only hold a smaller amount of food, which may help them lose weight.

After lap band surgery, the doctor can make adjustments to the tightness of the band, which changes the speed at which food travels through the digestive system, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix, however; maintaining a healthy diet and following an exercise plan are key to keeping the weight off. Consequently, lap band surgery is only recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) over 40, or over 35 if they also have a weight-related health issue, like sleep apnea or diabetes, according to the NIH.

Like any surgical procedure, lap band surgery carries with it some risks. Research has questioned whether these concerns really outweigh the benefits of slimming down. A small study from 2011 found that by 12 years later almost half of lap band surgery patients had to have the band removed because it had begun to erode. Others experienced infections or an enlarged stomach, and in some people, the band began to eat through the stomach wall, U.S. News reported.

In 2009, five people died soon after lap band surgery at 1-800-GET-THIN clinics in California, leading the FDA to warn consumers about misleading information in ads from the company, reported.

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