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Hospital launches free support group for bariatric patients

Bolingbrook – Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is hosting a new free support group for bariatric gastric banding patients, regardless of where they underwent the weight-loss surgery. The group will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. July 15 at the hospital, 500 Remington Boulevard. Bariatric coordinator Karen Curtin, RN, will lead the group.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery is an outpatient procedure that involves the placement of a silicone ring around the stomach, which regulates its filling capacity and can be adjusted during future visits to a doctor’s office. The minimally invasive procedure is done with general anesthesia and takes about an hour.

Dr. Vafa Shayani, medical director of bariatric surgery, said gastric banding surgery essentially controls hunger by restricting stomach capacity. Patients typically lose one to two pounds a week once the band is in place, and the weight loss continues at this rate until the desired weight is achieved.

“You will actually feel full and walk away from food,” Shayani said. “And people can lose weight at their own pace.”

Gastric banding is considered the safest and least invasive weight-loss surgery. Unlike gastric bypass, gastric banding does not result in cutting or suture lines. Also, the procedure does not affect food absorption or cause nutritional deficiencies, Shayani said.

The surgery is performed with a video-enabled laparoscope, allowing surgeons an inside view of the body through incisions colloquially called buttonholes. It is designed for morbidly obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater.

To register or for more information, contact Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital at (630) 312-BAND or or