Morbid obesity is a serious disease affecting more than nine million Americans nationwide. This condition is associated with many life threatening diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. In (year) Bingham Memorial Hospital began offering a new way to take control of your weight and enhance your quality of life. This new procedure is called gastric banding and has been proven to be a safer alternative to traditional surgeries.

On March 21 2000, Penny Marriott and her husband, Mike, took a huge step in taking control of their lives and weight. The two were the first patients in Eastern Idaho to undergo the Lap Band surgery which was performed at Bingham Memorial Hospital by Dr. Eduardo Avila. This bariatric procedure is minimally invasive, which means there are fewer risks, and can be performed with fewer side effects to the patient. Basically, an adjustable silicone band is placed around the stomach to restrict the amount of food that enters. This procedure is done laparoscopically, so it offers minimal scaring. This procedure also is adjustable without additional surgery and is removable if necessary. Gastric banding has proven to be highly successful and is much safer than the old, traditional gastric bypass method.

Deciding to have this procedure done has been a tremendous life changing experience for both Penny and Mike. Penny has lost over 100 pounds and Mike has lost over 100 as well. It’s hard for them to explain the amazing feeling that this has brought to both Penny and her husband. Penny’s self-confidence has gone through the roof. She tells me that she doesn’t want to hide from the world anymore.

This summer Penny was able to go camping and hiking with her family for the first time in years. Instead of just watching, she was able to make it to the top of the mountain with was just an exhilarating experience for her. Penny told me that she used to feel tired all the time, but now she has a wealth of energy. She’s even able to keep up with her grand-children. This surgery helped Penny and Mike change their eating habits, so that they're not hungry all the time. They feel full very quickly and don’t have the cravings they used to anymore.

The new gastric band procedure is not for everyone. Prime candidates for this new procedure must be at least eighteen years old, have a BMI of 35 with co-morbidities or 40 and greater without co-morbidities, and have been overweight for more than five years.

New eating habits and exercise play a key roll in any patient’s long term success. If you would like more information on this exciting procedure and how it can help you or a loved one achieve a healthy weight, please contact the Bariatric Program inside Bingham Memorial Medical Plaza at 782-3993.


Louis Kraml, CEO Bingham Memorial Hospital