“Hello I’m your new doctor. Your bloodwork shows that you have Type 2 diabetes. However, we aren’t going to treat it at this time, I would just like for you to go home, eat better and exercise more. This is basically your fault because you can’t control your eating, and because of this you have gotten overweight which has resulted in the onset of diabetes. Just so you know, there is little to no chance that this treatment will work, but I want you to do it anyway. Partly because it’s your fault, and partly because, since society also feels that it is your fault, its acceptable for your insurance company not to pay for treatment of this disease. Good luck, I’ll see you in 6 months if you’re still alive.”
Seems shocking doesn’t it? However, this has been the method of treatment for obesity for decades–just ignore it, it’s the patients fault anyway. Hopefully they will get their act together some day, and if not maybe we’ll think about a Lap Band or gastric sleeve in 10 years. Whether it’s diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, or obesity it’s a bad idea! Treat the disease early before it causes permanent damage to the body.
I have been an advocate of early treatment of obesity for many years. In fact, I got a Lap Band myself 6 years ago when my BMI was just a little over 30. It changed my life and I lost 55 pounds. Were it not for my Lap Band, my BMI would probably now be 35 and I might be a diabetic today.
We are proud to announce that our practice has been asked to be primary investigators in a 10 year FDA study on the efficacy of the Lap Band in low BMI patients. Patients with a BMI of 30-40 are potentially eligible to enroll in the study, and must make a commitment for long-term follow up in the office.
We have seen the expansion of insurance coverage for the treatment of many diseases that affect far fewer patients and have far less impact than the disease of obesity. Hopefully with this study, we will see expansion of coverage for the treatment of obesity, which could save thousands of lives and save the healthcare system billions of dollars.
Trace Curry MD
Dr. Trace Curry has been a weight loss surgeon in Cincinnati for the past 13 years. Having done thousands of gastric bands and sleeve gastrectomies, he and his partner Dr. Tracy Pitt offer one of the most experienced teams in the country!