All posts in Aloha Surgery News

Multivitamins Increase Your Chance of Death?

Have you guys heard about the buzz regarding multivitamins linked to increased death rates? This month in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found a slightly increased death rate in individuals who consume multivitamins on a regular basis over a 19 year period. The study gets respect interms of the amount of patinets studied (about 40 thousand women), and the extended follow up period, but needs some serious perspective in stating its results:

-This sudy merely shows and association. It does not prove cause and effect… meaning it doesn’t show that the multivitamins increase your risk.

-It does not address nutritional needs of post surgical weight loss patients. It is clearly shown that bariatric patients need some type of nutritional supplement to prevent vitamin defficiencies.

-It fails to discuss the real issue of overall decreased nutrition of Americsns. Our generation eats greater amounts of simple sugars, modified fats, and highly processed foods with decreased nutritional content. A multivitamin can help offset this poor diet, and it’s certainly better than nothing…. but the real message should be centered on educating and supporting a society towards good nutritional food consumption.

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HMSA Refuses to Expand the Sleeve

After submitting a formal request for HMSA to review their Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Criteria, once again I receive a denial. Bascially, there is growing evidence that the Sleeve procedure provides good weight loss with acceptable safety. How much evidence does an insurance company need before it adjusts their criteria? Well, we have 6 year prospective data in the US, 10 year data internationally, major insurance carriers United Healthcare and Aetna now cover the sleeve, some Blue Cross insurance companies in the US cover the sleeve, our own program has over one year data on HMSA members who have undergone the sleeve and are doing well… and yet they still will not budge!

The good news is that momentum is in our favor to accept the Sleeve as a viable option for surgical weight loss with criteria similar to the Band and Bypass. But, we are going to have to be patient and wait for HMSA to catch up. I still have a hard time rationalizing why we must argue to get our surgeries covered when we know they save lives, improve quality of life, and decrease overall medical costs.

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New FDA Ruling on LapBand

On December 3rd, an FDA Advisory Panel ruled in favor of indicating the LapBand procedure for patients with a BMI of 35 and greater, and for patients with a BMI of 30-35 with a significant medical comorbidity. This is a significant step in allowing patients access to surgical weight loss who were excluded previously due to BMI limitations. Keep in mind this is only an Advisory Panel decision, and the FDA will make a final ruling in the next few months. In general, the FDA will follow the recommendations they receive from such panels.

How does this impact us? Well, assuming the FDA makes its final decision in favor, some insurance companies may adjust their coverage criteria to match the FDA guidelines. This would probably increase the number of LapBand procedures being performed in the US.

I am in favor of the current ruling because there are plenty of patients (who I have had to turn away) who would benefit form surgical weight loss and fall within the BMI 30-40 class.

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New FDA Ruling on LapBand

On December 3rd, an FDA Advisory Panel ruled in favor of indicating the LapBand procedure for patients with a BMI of 35 and greater, and for patients with a BMI of 30-35 with a significant medical comorbidity. This is a significant step in allowing patients access to surgical weight loss who were excluded previously due to BMI limitations. Keep in mind this is only an Advisory Panel decision, and the FDA will make a final ruling in the next few months. In general, the FDA will follow the recommendations they receive from such panels.

How does this impact us? Well, assuming the FDA makes its final decision in favor, some insurance companies may adjust their coverage criteria to match the FDA guidelines. This would probably increase the number of LapBand procedures being performed in the US.

I am in favor of the current ruling because there are plenty of patients (who I have had to turn away) who would benefit form surgical weight loss and fall within the BMI 30-40 class.

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Neighbor Island Support Groups

Join us at one of our support groups near you! If you have any questions, please call our office or contact us.

Maui Kona, Big Island
Date: 8/23 then 3rd Tuesday at 6:00pm

Location:
Maui Medical Group
2180 Main St.
Wailuku, 96793
Annex Building

Date: 8/24, then 4th Tuesday at 6:00pm

Location:
Aloha Center
73-4080
Huilikoa Drive
Kailua-Kona


Hilo, Big Island Kauai
Dates: 8/23, then 4th Tuesday at 6:00pm

Location:
Living Waters Assembly of God
89 Maikai St.
Hilo, HI

Date: 8/23, then 4th Tuesday at 6:00pm

Location:
New Beginning Christian Center
3-4251 Kuhio Hwy


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