Many military members struggle with their weight. And as such, if you gain too much weight as a member of the Armed Forces you can even be required to leave the service. Well there is a new option for members of the Active Duty Military that is covered by TriCare medical benefits in some situations. That is the Lapband Surgery supported by the Military TriCare program. It is offered to Military Servicemembers who need to reduce their weight for medical reasons. Gastric Banding is when a composite or adjustable nylon band is placed around the upper part of the stomach and lower esophagus, and it limits and restricts the amount of food that can be eaten.
The procedure is also referred to as Adjustable Laproscopic Gastric Banding. It is a process that has to be referred by the Servicemembers doctor, and the person who wants to have the surgery has to meet certain criteria. “This procedure is approved and a new procedure, because for some Servicemembers it is the correct course of action to help them,” said Major General Elder Granger. Major General Granger serves as TriCare Management Activity Deputy Director. This new option is for those people who are currently in excess of 100 pounds over their optimum weight. People who are more than 100 pounds overweight are still classified as morbidly obese, and in the military it is seen especially as a severe health issue. It can be less than 100 pounds if the person is very short and the weight is still very high.
There are several possibilities for dealing with this situation, but the option of Gastric Banding and having the procedure being covered by TriCare is entirely new. Lap Band surgery is the only procedure that is approved across the board for some Servicemembers by TriCare. Other procedures that exist that are not given coverage by TriCare include gastroplasty, gastric stapling, and Roulin Y Gastric bypass. TriCare yet covers none of these, but TriCare now approves Lap Banding.
TriCare Medical professionals stress that this is not a procedure that will be automatically granted, as other weight loss methods that are more traditional are preferred. But for some personnel, this is an option that was not available previously, and can help certain individuals who meet certain criteria.