“Pawn Star” Loses Paunch with Lap Band

Corey Harrison, known as “Big Hoss” on his family’s History Channel show Pawn Stars, has lost the amazing amount of 115 pounds over the past 5 months! Big Hoss is the grandson of Richard Harrison and son of Rick Harrison, owners of the Las Vegas  Gold and Silver Pawn Shop where the show is based. According to People magazine, Corey realized his weight was out of control when he weighed 365 pounds and his doctor had diagnosed him as being pre-diabetic.

“I was watching this lawyer’s commercial and it was talking about the side effects of this drug, and I was on that medication because of my weight. I went and got a Lap-Band put in and the weight just started falling off. It was like someone took a backpack full of rocks off of you.”

Big Hoss underwent the Lap-Band procedure in February 2011, and in conjunction with a high protein diet and working out with a trainer 5 days a week has posted his remarkable weight loss. His father, Rick, has also had a gym put into the pawn shop to allow the workouts to fit into his busy schedule.

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

Bariatric surgery (“weight loss 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.

Have any of you had experience with weight loss surgery? How has it changed your life?

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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