Local Expert Weighs in on Christie's Weight Loss - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Local Expert Weighs in on Christie's Weight Loss



    It's been six months since Governor Christie underwent a weight loss procedure. But is it working? A local surgeon shares his expert opinion. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013)

    It’s been six months since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie underwent a weight loss surgery.

    While Christie had the procedure done in February, the governor didn’t admit to it until May. Christie said he decided around the time of his birthday in September of last year to have the surgery and initially planned to have it done in November. But Superstorm Sandy's destruction in New Jersey pushed back the procedure until February.

    The procedure Christie underwent is known as lap band surgery, in which a band is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, making people feel full on small amounts of food.

    Nearly half a year since the surgery, some are wondering if the procedure is actually working. NBC10 reached out to Dr. Prashanth Ramachandra, a Mercy Fitzgerald surgeon who has performed over a thousand weight loss procedures, to give his expert opinion.

    “I think he’s done a reasonable job in terms of his effort in losing weight,” Dr. Ramachandra said. “I feel it’s working.”

    Still, those who undergo lap band surgery don’t typically lose weight as fast as those who undergo more invasive procedures, such as gastric bypass.

    “It’s about one to two pounds a week,” Dr. Ramachandra said. “We say about four to six pounds a month.

    According to Dr. Ramachandra, a man Governor Christie’s height should weigh about 180 pounds. Since lap band weight loss is so gradual, the doctor says Christie likely won’t be that skinny for at least a year.

    “The other part of lap band is it’s not as forgiving as others,” Dr. Ramachandra said. “If you break your schedule here and there, it does punish you to the point where you don’t lose the weight.”

    NBC10 reached out to the governor by email for comment. So far we have not heard back from him.

    Recently, a local woman who underwent the same procedure lost 142 pounds. Click here to watch her story.