A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel last month recommended allowing doctors to use the Lap-Band, a less drastic form of weight-loss surgery, in somewhat thinner, but still obese patients. Those with body mass indexes of 30 to 35 and medical complications of obesity would qualify. People who are 5-foot-5 and weigh 180 to 210 fall in that range. Currently, the FDA has approved the device only for people with higher BMIs: 40 and up, or 35 to 40 if they have other complications. The agency usually follows advisory committee recommendations, though it's unclear when a decision will come.