Is Bariatric Surgery an Option for Obese Adolescents?

Posted on: July 13th, 2017 by Our Team

Aliayha Carrasco-Garcia tried diet and exercise alone in her weight-loss efforts. Nothing helped her lose the weight. Standing at 5-foot-2 and carrying 240 pounds, bariatric surgery was her best option.

Aliayha is different than most bariatric patients. She is only 15 years old.

Severe obesity in adolescents has doubled between 1999 and 2014, jumping from 5.2% to 10.2%. 10.2% of 12-year-olds to 19-year-olds are obese.

Is bariatric surgery an option for obese adolescents?

“We’re at a point in this field where surgery is the only thing that works for these kids but we don’t know the long-term outcomes,” says Aaron Kelly, University of Minnesota Physiologist and Pediatric Obesity Specialist.

Teens and parents are looking at two options: accept uncertain long term risks of surgery or face the known, serious risks of living with obesity. There are connections between childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, left ventricular hypertrophy, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and some cancers.

Dr. Lee M. Kaplan, Director of the weight center at Massachusetts General Hospital, says “I am less concerned about osteoporosis than that their lives will be completely destroyed if they don’t get some serious weight off: medically, socially, and economically.”

At Advanced Surgical, we want patients to live healthy lives throughout adolescence and adulthood. We offer sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-Band procedures for adolescents to help them reach a healthy weight.

Health is our number one priority. To qualify for adolescent bariatric surgery you must have:

  • A primary care provider determine that 6 months of organized attempts at weight management have failed.
  • Reached physiologic maturity.
  • A BMI greater than 40 and two severe obesity-related chronic conditions or a BMI of more than 50 with less-serious, related conditions.
  • A commitment to the surgery and subsequent lifestyle and diet changes.
  • Agreed to avoid pregnancy for 1 year post-operation.
  • Provided informed consent for the surgical treatment.
  • A supportive family environment at home.

Three to four million adolescents qualify for bariatric surgery, but only about 1,000 end up having the operation.

Studies found positive results for obese adolescents! The Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden studied 58 and 81 adolescents, respectively.

They each found that a majority of their patients lost a third of their weight and kept a majority of the weight off for 5 years. Those with diabetes entered remission and blood pressure readings dropped to normal levels.

Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics has performed the most adolescent bariatric surgeries in the country. We are experts in this field! We offer the safest bariatric options for teenagers with the best long-term results:

  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)
  • Laparoscopic Gastric Banding (Lap-Band)

Research finds that bariatric surgery is just as safe for teenagers as it is for adults.

Our team of experts at Advanced Surgical know that bariatric surgery improves quality of life. We want every person, no matter their age, to live a happy, healthy life. We offer sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-Band for adolescents who need to lose weight.

Talk to our experts at Advanced Surgical to determine which bariatric option is right for you!

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