The governor is said to have undergone a gastric band procedure — officially known as Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. The surgery, which is also called Lap-Band, is one of the most common types of weight loss surgery — second only to gastric bypass surgery, in which a section of the stomach is closed off so that food has to bypass the small intestine.
Gastric banding is considered less invasive and more adjustable than a bypass procedure. During the laproscopic surgery, a doctor fits an inflatable silicone band around the upper stomach to diminish its size, which in turn limits the amount of food it can contain. Experts estimate that gastric band recipients lose an average of about 40 percent of their excess weight, though results vary.
Gastric banding is not without its criticism. A small 2011 study found that nearly half of patients with Lap-Bands had complications. While 40 percent of band recipients had serious complications, 22 percent had minor complications. A surprising 60 percent required subsequent surgery to address some of the problems created by the band — including erosion and other device malfunctions.
Despite these complications, the same 2011 study found that 60 percent of band recipients were happy with the surgery’s results. Though the governor did not share details about his medical condition, he did say that the device was helping him to eat less.
“A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full,” he told the New York Post, who quoted his weight loss at about 40 pounds, though his weight and weight loss have never been confirmed through official channels.