Through small incisions in the abdomen, Lap-Band surgeons use thin surgical instruments to reduce the size of the stomach.
Bariatric surgeon Dr. Philippe Quilici says there are other weight loss procedures used besides the Lap-Band, like gastric bypass, which involves cutting the stomach into smaller pouches and then rerouting the digestive tract. In another procedure, the gastric sleeve, surgeons remove about 80 percent of the stomach.
"Those are three great options. They work well and they fit different patient profiles," Quilici said.
Who's a good candidate? Doctors say people with a BMI of 35 and above. But it's also indicated in less obese patients who have chronic conditions, like diabetes.
"The advice I got was that the band surgery would be the most effective thing for me to do," Christie said.
Christie also said he tried other ways to lose weight before opting for Lap-Band.
The Lap-Band has the fewest complications and is minimally invasive. It can be done the same days as an outpatient procedure, but it does have a higher failure rate at 30 percent and other disadvantages.
"Patients has to been seen almost every six weeks for the next 12 to 18 months, you have to be adjusted. And it is not as aggressive as a gastric bypass," Quilici said.
Quilici notes that it won't work if patients don't eat sensibly and exercise.