Governor Christie’s Gastric Band Surgery - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

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Published on May 07, 2013

Governor Christie’s Gastric Band Surgery

Notoriously hefty New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken a dramatic step to lose weight – bariatric gastric band surgery. Indications are that, less than three months after having the operation, the Governor has already lost a significant amount of weight.

The news is sure to raise the profile of gastric band surgery, an operation that is typically performed on people who are severely overweight and who haven’t been able to lose weight by dieting or exercising. Surgery is generally considered when your body mass index is 40 or higher, or if there is a weight-related condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

Gastric band surgery involves placing a silicone tube around the top of the stomach, where it restricts the amount of food the patient can eat at one time, making him feel fuller, faster.  As the patient loses weight, saline solution is pumped into the band by doctors, tightening the band and further restricting how much the patient can eat. Most patients can only handle small amounts of liquids for the first couple weeks after surgery.

Patients can expect to lose 35 to 40 percent of their excess body weight, the majority of it in the first three to five years after surgery. Most patients keep off at least 50 percent of the weight ten years after surgery.

The 50 year old governor is considered a presidential candidate for 2016, and many pundits have wondered whether an overweight candidate can win. Christie told reporters that he had the surgery for the sake of his family, not his political career. People have estimated that the Governor used to weigh as much as 350 pounds. The New York Post reported he’s lost 40 pounds since having the surgery 2 ½ months ago.

The Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Program at Crozer-Chester Medical Center offers gastric band surgery, as well as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries. For more information about the program, visit http://bariatricsugery.crozerkeystone.org or call (610) 619-8450.

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