Reader's Respond

Wednesday we did a segment about gastric banding. No, it's not the same as stapling or bypass. While the desired result is perhaps the same — weight loss — this procedure is different from stapling or bypass surgery. Our guest for the segment was Dr. George Fielding, who is an associate professor of surgery at the NYU Program for Surgical Weight Loss, and has actually done one of these procedures himself.

Well, we got a HUGE response to this segment. You wrote in asking where gastric banding is available, and how to contact Dr. Fielding. While I am unable to give you all recommendations about where to go get a consultation for gastric banding (we live in a big country, after all), I can direct you to Dr. Fielding's website, which may be of some assistance to you.

I have a full day with patients today, so we are posting some of your comments:

Lap Banding Procedures

"I listened to your interview this morning on the gastric banding procedure. After seeing that interview, I think that one would be inclined to believe that there are no ill effects from the gastric band. I work for two bariatric surgeons. One has done the Roux-en-Y procedure for over nine years, the other for five years. We have done over 3,000 of these surgeries. We have had to remove many lap bands and revise it to the Roux-en-Y for various reasons, such as slippage, infection, and paresis of the tissue.

It is never just one procedure. There are 'maintenance trips' back to the surgeon to adjust the tightness of the band, and oftentimes, the insurance companies do not pay for those maintenance procedures. I think that, in fairness, everything should be explored. There is no surgery or technique without possible complications." — Anne (Grand Rapids, MI)

Superstitions & Unlucky Dates

"I read your article on superstition and health with interest, and agree that superstition is senseless. It's basically a cultural thing. In my own Hispanic culture, Tuesday the 13th is a day of bad omen, whereas in the U.S. it is Friday the 13th. As for me, I do not believe in superstition, because it brings bad luck." — Jose

"Regarding your blog on superstitions of cultures and nations. In Spain, there is a refrain: 'Trece y Martes: ni cases, ni te embarques.' It translates to "Thirteen and Tuesday: don't get married and don't travel." — Diazubi (California)

"I just read your online column on cultural date taboos. The origin of the European taboo on Tuesdays is related to the fall of the city of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Ottoman Sultan had begun a campaign to isolate and destroy what was left of the dying Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman's main speed bump to further conquest in Asia Minor and Eastern Europe. The taking of Constantinople, the Greek Orthodox equivalent of Vatican City to Roman Catholics, after a months-long siege by the combined naval and land forces of the Ottomans, was a brutal and vicious affair of plunder, rape, and murder that was indelibly etched onto the collective Greek memory. Remnants still affect relations between Greek and Turk, Muslim and Christian, and East and West to this day. It all took place on May 29, 1453 — a Tuesday. For that reason, don't ever ask a dyed-in-the-wool Greek to begin an important project on a Tuesday." — Ares (Colorado Springs, CO)

Road Rage

"I feel the lack of accepting responsibility for one's own actions is at the top of the list for root causes of road rage. For what appears to be nothing more than a lack of self-control to be added to the ever-growing list of mental illnesses just minimizes true mental illness. I enjoy watching you, but I am a bit disappointed that you didn't do your part to minimize this study. Why don't we do a better job of teaching coping skills, rather than putting up more mental pegs to hang our shortcomings on?" — Kim

"If road rage is a disease, then anyone diagnosed with it should be denied a drivers license. We should no have diseased people threatening our lives on the road." — John (Dallas, TX)

Don't forget to watch FOX News Channel. And please feel free to write to Dr. Manny at DRMANNY@FOXNEWS.COM and tell him what you think. Ask a question, share a thought, share a remedy — We'll try to answer all of your mail online or on the air.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit