Gov. Chris Christie underwent stomach-shrinking Lap-Band surgery in February, he confirmed to the New York Post on Monday night while refuting speculation that he was slimming down for a White House run in 2016.
Christie quietly had the Lap-Band -- or laparoscopic adjustable gastric binding -- procedure done in a New York hospital, telling the paper that he agreed to the surgery at the urging of his family after turning 50 in September.
The governor insisted that the Lap-Band was not inserted to help him lose weight in the run-up to 2016.
"I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, 'I have to do this for them, even if I don’t give a crap about myself,'" he told The Post.
Christie said the surgery lasted 40 minutes and that he was home the same day. Citing sources, The Post said the governor has already shed almost 40 pounds.
George Fielding of the NYU Langone Weight Management Program, performed the surgery, and that the doctor make several house calls to the governor's Mendham home. Fielding also performed the procedure on Jets coach Rex Ryan in March 2010, and Christie said he spoke with Ryan in advance of the surgery.
Ryan said he has lost 115 pounds since his lap band surgery.
Christie's weight has long been a central storyline in his rise to national political prominence, from his days as a Morris County Freeholder, to his run for governor and, now, as he is considered in some corners a GOP frontrunner for the Oval Office.
Christie has never shied away from discussing -- even joking -- about his weight, and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman holding a jelly donut mere days before the he checked into the weight loss center on Feb. 16.
The procedure involves constricting the stomach with an inflatable silicon ring that is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, limiting the amount of food a person can intake, according to WebMD.com
Saline is used to tighten or loosen the band. Patients feel full after eating less food since their stomachs hold less.
Ryan told HuffPo Live that the Lap-Band "has taught me how to eat and over time, I lost 100 pounds and lost 15 more."
Fielding has performed thousands of the surgeries, according to his biography, and is considered among the top surgeons in the field.
Several recent studies, however, have questioned the effectiveness and safety of gastric banding.
The Lap-Band procedure is one of several weight loss surgeries performed in the U.S. and the only one that is easily reversible.