Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Adolescent Bariatric Surgery: Do They Exist?

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
October 19, 2023
Adolescent Bariatric Surgery: Do They Exist?

Weight loss or bariatric surgery is normally a last resort for people who have tried everything that they can to lose weight and keep it off. This will make most of us think that the surgery should only be done on older patients that have had a lot of time to try and manage their weight with traditional remedies, like diet and exercise. But is this true? 

Is there a place for adolescent bariatric surgery? And are there any doctors that are willing to perform this surgery? Let’s find out. 

Why Allow Youngsters to Get Bariatric Surgery 

Bariatric surgery is a big deal and not a decision that should be taken lightly. Most of these types of weight loss surgery can’t be reversed and they require that you change your lifestyle completely. It is a big commitment. That is why some teens and adults in their early 20s have not qualified for this surgery. 

At the same time, new studies show that there are plenty of reasons why adolescent weight loss surgery could be the key to allowing youngsters to stay healthy. Often this surgery is given to reverse some of the health issues that have come with obesity. Some of these health risks include: 

  • Strokes
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes 
  • Sleep apnea 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Heart disease

Obesity puts extra strain on your bones and joints. People who were very overweight as children might not yet realize the damage that this extra weight has created but they could suffer from it later in life. 

On the other hand, if these young ones are allowed to get assistance in the form of weight loss surgery much earlier, they will be able to avoid some of the long-lasting effects that obesity puts on the body. They can start to live a healthier lifestyle much earlier and this can keep them healthier for longer. Younger people are also known to be able to make lifestyle changes easier and this will make the process easier and more successful too. 

Recent Studies 

Many patients who need this type of surgery are just not being allowed to get it, and when it comes to a younger demographic those numbers fall even more. Not much is known about the long-term effects that this type of surgery can have on someone who received it before they turned 22. 

New studies have tried to solve this problem by going back to young people who have had the surgery and who have lived with it for several years. The study looked at around 300 people who had the surgery at least 10 years ago as youngsters. 

This gave doctors a lot more data about the effects and the benefits that this type of surgery does give younger people. 

Long Term Success 

The results of following these people were really impressive. It showed that there were loads of benefits to getting this surgery at a young age. Most of the people who had gotten the surgery had lost the weight that they needed to and more than 70% had managed to keep the weight off even after 10 years. 

This allowed them to be a lot healthier than they would have been after being obese for the same amount of time. Other health risks, like diabetes, were also reduced because of the surgery. It shows the benefits of allowing young people to get this surgery. 

Is There Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Near Me Exist? 

It is possible to get a doctor that is willing to do this surgery but it is rarer than with older people. But studies have shown that this surgery could carry major benefits and really should be available to adolescent patients.

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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