With rates of overweight among youth on the rise, bariatric
surgery is sometimes considered as a treatment option for adolescents who
are severely overweight. However, there are many concerns about the
long-term effects of this type of operation on adolescentsí developing
bodies and minds. Experts in pediatric overweight and bariatric surgery
recommend that surgical treatment only be considered when adolescents have
tried for at least 6 months to lose weight and have not been successful.
Candidates should be severely overweight (BMI of 40 or more), have reached
their adult height (usually 13 or older for girls, 15 or older for boys),
and have serious weight-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes or
heart disease. In addition, potential patients and their parents should be
evaluated to see how emotionally prepared they are for the operation and the
lifestyle changes they will need to make. Patients should also be referred
to a team of experts in adolescent medicine and bariatric surgery who are
qualified to meet their unique needs.