Weight Loss Surgery for Teens

Bariatric Surgery for Obese Teens

The number of obese teens has increased dramatically during the last several years, and many of these teens experience serious health problems as a result. Depending on the circumstances, bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or LAP band surgery, may be an appropriate treatment to help teens with these health issues. When medically supervised weight loss programs have failed, bariatric surgery for obese teens will likely provide them with their best chance to grow up to be healthy adults.

Risks of Teen Obesity

Obesity brings with it many health risks for any age group, including teens. These health risks include:

• Type 2 diabetes
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
Acid reflux
• Sleep apnea, which can lead to various other problems

In addition, obesity during teenage years tends to cause social and psychological difficulties that tend to continue into adulthood. Social Isolation, diminished self-esteem, and so forth can lead to anxiety and depression later. Sleep apnea can also decrease academic performance and make it more difficult for teens to function during the day.

How Bariatric Surgery Can Help

One way to help obese teens is through bariatric surgery. While many parents are wary of the prospect of their teenagers undergoing surgery, the benefits of these minimally invasive procedures often outweigh the risks. Benefits include a reduced risk of the above mentioned health problems, increased confidence among their peers, and preventing more serious health issues in adulthood.

But Is It Safe?

The big question that most parents will ask is whether bariatric surgery for obese teens is truly safe. Studies show that these operations are just as safe for teens as they are for adults, though their long-term effects do need more research. Nevertheless, the operation can help dramatically reduce other health risks later in life, making this operation worthwhile for teens are very overweight.

Qualifying for Weight Loss Surgery?

When it comes to weight loss surgery, teens have to meet the same requirements that adults do. These include:

• A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more
• A BMI of 35 or more plus serious problems resulting from excess weight
• The willingness to stick to a weight loss plan after surgery

In addition, teens should have already gone through puberty prior to surgery.

Dr. Malladi can review bariatric surgery options with you and help determine if bariatric surgery is the right treatment for your teen.

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