Weight Loss Surgery for Teens

By | February 15, 2017

Teen obesity is increasing dramatically. The number of dangerously overweight teens is increasing drastically, so do the popularity of weight loss surgery among young population.

Despite the fact that the cost of weight loss surgery is extremely expensive, and insurance companies do not often cover this procedure, more and more men women and teens who have not been able to maintain weight loss through dieting alone are now looking to get rid of their excessive body weight through surgery.

Today, a variety of surgical options to lose weight are available, with many of them offering best possible results. These procedures include lap band, gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and mini gastric bypass.

The Facts for Families data sheet by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) shows that the number of obese teens in the United States has grown to epidemic proportions in recent years, with 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of all children and adolescents considered obese.

The severely obese teens are at risk for serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and joint problems. The surging teenage obesity rate has contributed to the weight loss surgery trend around the world.

Does It Works for Teens?
Is weight loss surgery right option for teens? Many studies have billed the surgical ways to lose fat in teens as both safe and effective but many doctors still hesitate to recommend surgical intervention for teens.

While some experts caution that surgery isn’t an option for most teenagers, suggesting that teens can achieve ideal weight with the help of changes in lifestyle and diet as well as physical activity and medical treatments, some others believe these non-surgical techniques do not work effectively in aiding weight reduction in the morbidly obese teenagers.

Since several studies have shown some of the benefits of bariatric surgery for morbidly obese adolescents, the weight loss surgery has found acceptance as an effective weight reduction strategy for teen population. However, the surgery is still very rare in this group.

A small percentage of teenagers are considering undergoing the surgery to aid them in their battle to lose a significant amount of their extra body fat.

Surgical Options for Obese Teens
For those abnormally overweight teenagers who have just not been able to lose weight with doctor-approved diet and exercise plan alone, there is weight loss surgery to help them in their fight against the dreaded stomach bulge and enhance their lifestyle. However, the teenagers need to be both physically and emotionally mature before undergoing the operation.

Like adult obese patients, teens can opt any of the two types of weight loss surgery- Restrictive or combined Restrictive and Malabsorptive procedures.

Restrictive form of weight loss surgery is less invasive, limiting the intake of food by shrinking the size of the stomach. This type of surgery makes a patient feel full even after consuming very small amount of food. The restrictive weight loss surgery procedures include the gastric band, the gastric balloon, and the gastric sleeve.

The combined restrictive/malabsorptive procedures could be much more complicated weight loss surgery options for teenagers. The operations in this category, including the Roux-en-Y bypass (long limb or distal gastric bypass), reduce a person’s food consumption capacity by reducing absorption of nutrients and calories by the digestive system.

Although in several studies weight loss surgery procedures proved safe and effective in treating obese teens, still it is vital that the prospective patients are closely evaluated to ensure suitability for the surgical intervention.

Family support and a strict dietary regimen for the rest of their lives after the surgery are very important to evade their risk of regaining the weight they lost.