February 08, 2007 12:54 ET

ORLive Presents: A Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding for Obesity Minimally Invasive Weight Loss Surgery

Live Webcast: From Tampa General Hospital: March 6, 2007 at 4:00 PM EST (21:00 UTC)

TAMPA, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 8, 2007 -- A laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure for obesity will be performed live over the Internet from Tampa General Hospital on March 6, 2007 at 4 PM EST on The LAP-BAND® System procedure involves placing an adjustable band around the connection between the food pipe and stomach to restrict the amount of food an individual can consume at one time. Since it is adjustable, the band can gradually be tightened by the physician during office visits, allowing individuals to use it as a tool to change their eating behaviors and lose weight. The procedure is intended to help patients reach a healthier weight in order to lead more mobile and active lives.

Obesity is a chronic disease that affects more than 60 million Americans over the age of 20. It affects every organ system in the body and can cause major illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, acid reflux disease and degenerative joint disease. People who weigh twice their ideal body weight are candidates for weight loss surgery.

Michel Murr, M.D., Director of Bariatric Surgery at Tampa General Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, will perform the procedure in which five small incisions are made in the abdomen to allow passage of a light, camera and surgical instruments. The abdomen is then inflated with air to allow a better view of the stomach and internal structures. The procedure is typically 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the patient's liver as it affects where instruments are placed as well as where the band is delivered. When compared to gastric bypass surgery, which allows food to bypass the stomach and proceed directly to the small bowel, the LAP-BAND® procedure is relatively shorter and involves less cutting and rerouting of the intestinal tract. It also is less risky. "The likelihood of having a major complication with a LAP-BAND® System is about 0.1 percent, while the likelihood of having a complication with the bypass procedure is about 10 percent," says Dr. Murr. Due to pre-emptive medications for pain and nausea, patients recovering from the LAP-BAND® System procedure may be discharged as early as the day of surgery and can expect to be back to daily activities in one to two weeks.

Since 1998, TGH has helped over 1,000 patients regain and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle with a dedicated team of healthcare professionals and comprehensive pre- and post-surgery follow-up care.

® Mark owned by Allergan, Inc (NYSE: AGN)

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