Jets Coach Undergoes Weight Loss Surgery

New York Jets coach, Rex Ryan underwent weight loss surgery on Saturday. The 47 year old Ryan underwent lap-band surgery as an outpatient at New York University in an effort to fight his problem with obesity.

Update: Rex Ryan has shed over 100 pounds since the lap-band surgery! Check out the Before and After Photos!

Obesity is a major health problem in the United States, being a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. This is a map of the US from the CDC which shows the percent of obese adults by state.


Weight-loss surgery, medically known as bariatric surgery, produces weight loss by restricting food intake and, in some cases, interfering with nutrition through malabsorption. Bariatric surgery is not a “quick fix” for obesity. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must also commit to a lifetime of healthy eating and regular physical activity. These healthy habits help ensure that the weight loss from surgery is successfully maintained.

Weight-loss surgery is only recommended for people who have been unable to lose weight with diet and exercise and have:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Someone with a BMI of 40 or more is at least 100 pounds over their recommended weight. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
  • A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition that might improve with weight loss. Some of these conditions are sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

There are four types of operations that are commonly offered in the United States: adjustable gastric band (AGB), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch (BPD-DS), and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Each has its own benefits and risks.

Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB) (sometimes called lap-band surgery)works primarily by decreasing food intake. Food intake is limited by placing a small bracelet-like band around the top of the stomach to produce a small pouch about the size of a thumb (about one ounce, a normal stomach can hold about 3 pints of food). The outlet size is controlled by a circular balloon inside the band that can be inflated or deflated with saline solution to meet the needs of the patient.

Risks for gastric banding are:

  • Injury to the stomach, intestines, or other organs during surgery.
  • The gastric band may slip partly out of place
  • Scarring inside the belly. This could lead to an obstruction (blockage) of the bowel in the future.
  • A surgeon may not be able to reach the access port to tighten or loosen the band. Fixing this problem would require a minor operation.
  • Gastritis (inflamed stomach lining), heartburn, or stomach ulcers
  • Poor nutrition
  • Vomiting from eating more than your stomach pouch can hold
Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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