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According to CBS 8 Allison Harden is being wheeled into an operating room, about to have gastric-band surgery. She can hear the operating staff, the monitors — it seems so real.

But it’s not. It’s all in her mind. “You will not feel any pain at all… Just then the surgeon enters the room,” a clinical hypnotherapist says to Allison, who is under hypnosis.

The process is called the Hypno-Band. It works by convincing people into believing that they actually had gastric-band surgery without going under the knife.

In traditional lap-band surgery, doctors reduce the size of the stomach so patients can not eat as much. This mental surgery is designed to do the same thing.

“The idea of the Hypno-Band is to install in the patients mind, in the clients mind, that they have a lap band fitted to their stomach, so they feel full after very little food,” clinical hypnotherapist Michael Zappellini said.

The idea is to fight obesity through our minds’ ability. It takes place in four intense sessions, the first two aimed at removing the reasons a person would overeat in the first place and preparing them for virtual surgery.

“The gastric band is inserted through one of the small incisions in your stomach, the surgeon looks through the camera and then he tightens the band slightly, forming a small pouch at the top of your stomach. So all you are aware of is a slight tugging as the surgeon completes the fitting of your band,” Zappellini said to Allison, as she lay in a state of hypnosis.

The room was set up to be as realistic as possible.

“We have smells like in an operating room, we have sounds of monitors like everything in a real operating room, because the more senses that we can add to the procedure, the more realistic in their mind it becomes,” Zappellini said.

But the process only works if the person is willing to be open to change and suggestion, which Allison Harden was.

It would be an amazing breakthrough if this process could work. Unfortunately, the excess skin left after massive weight loss would need to be removed in a real plastic surgery procedure. Dr. O’Toole performs abdominoplasty, thigh lifts and other body contouring procedures for post massive weight loss patients.


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