With the increasing burden of overweight, obesity and morbid obesity in the United States, several investigators, companies and institutions are focusing their research and development on trying to address the problem and help patients suffering with it. Currently about 35% of the Americans are obese and 69% are either obese or overweight and Realize is one of the companies dedicated to providing effective surgical techniques to help patients whose previous attempts to lose weight otherwise were unsuccessful.
History of the Realize Gastric Band
Realize is a trademark of Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a company from the Johnson’s group. With over 80 years of experience, while Ethicon works to offer treatment on a series of medical fields, Realize is focused on the bariatric treatment. The company was created by a group of scientists and researchers who started considering not only the surgical procedure itself, but also postoperative healing. They started thinking on ways to help patients heal, improve their lives and change in which surgery is conducted.
By bringing this questions, investigators created pioneer sutures to advance surgery, which were in the base of the company’s foundation. Following that, their portfolio increased to much more than sutures, including now a series of devices for surgical access, advanced energy, biosurgery, drains and reservoirs, electrosurgical and irrigation, gastric banding, lap hand instruments, ligation, soft tissue repair and hernia fixation, surgical stapling, uterine and pelvic surgery, and wound closure.
Mission of Realize
Realize is committed to help patients diagnosed with obesity or morbid obesity and who have failed in losing weight by themselves. The company tries to accomplish this mission through its research to advance surgical techniques as well as by providing advanced surgical system to lose weight. According to the company, they are dedicated to shape the future of surgery and positively alter the world, to help advance surgical care, increase quality of life and life expectancy.
In the bariatric field, Realize’s portfolio includes numerous products, to be used in more aggressive to less invasive surgeries. The company states that its main purpose is to improve patients’ lives worldwide, not only with its products, but also by volunteering, donating products and supporting global and non-profit organizations. Patient advocacy and respect for both the communities and the environment are also priorities.
The Realize Gastric Band and Products to Reduce Obesity
- Realize Adjustable Gastric Band system is a surgical weight loss method, during which a soft and adjustable silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The procedure divides the stomach into two parts, limiting the amount of food that the patient can eat. The Realize Gastric Band is placed through a laparoscopic surgery, which is performed with five to six small incisions in the abdomen and physicians adjust the band regularly after the procedure according to the patient’s needs.
- Realize Gastric Bypass system is used in one of the most common types of procedures, the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgeries. Similarly to the gastric band, the bypass limits the food intake, but it also restricts the calories absorption. The first phase of the procedure is similar to a gastric band, but during the second phase the small pouch is connected to the intestines, producing great alterations in the anatomy and metabolism.
- Realize also provides staples to be used in sleeve gastrectomy surgeries, the most invasive weight loss surgical procedure. During the surgery, up to 90% of the stomach is stapled and removed in order to increase satiety. The newly formed stomach is reduced and reshaped like a sleeve or banana. It can also be used as first step before a gastric bypass, and in that case, the surgeon continues to attach a section of the small intestine directly to the stomach pouch.