Teenage Weight Loss Surgery

With the remarkable increasing rate of teenagers who are obese, it is not surprising that a notable number are considering teenage weight loss surgery.

While there are those who disagree on this procedure, justifying that these overweight teens should lose weight through diet and exercise, some patients are just not able to lose the weight with only those two.

For those overweight individuals, teenage weight loss surgery is the best solution to help win their battle with obesity, and to help them live a longer, healthier and happier life.

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Teenage Weight Loss Surgery Options

Just like adults, teens can undergo one of two types of bariatric surgery. The two types are Restrictive and Malabsorptive. Restrictive types of weight loss surgery are those that limit the intake of food. Examples of restrictive methods include the gastric balloon, the gastric band, and the gastric sleeve. Malabsorptive methods augment the digestive system so that less nutrients and calories are absorbed by the body. An example of a malabsorptive method is the gastric bypass, also called the Roux-en-Y bypass.

teenage weight loss surgery Teenage Weight Loss SurgeryThe less invasive type of the weight loss surgery is the restrictive method, like the gastric banding and the lap band surgery. This procedure entails an wrapping an adjustable band around the patient’s stomach in order to reduce its size and thereby diminishing the amount of food that can be consumed, but still have that feeling of fullness.

Malabsorptive methods such as the gastric bypass are much more complicated options for teenage weight loss surgery. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure entails the stomach of the patient to be set permanently reduced from its original size, and then redirecting food from the stomach to a lower part of the intestines.

The safer option for teenage weight loss surgery is the less invasive type, the Restrictive method, such as a gastric sleeve, because teenagers are still physically developing as they mature. A permanent change or alteration to the digestive system with the malabsorptive methods can have mean more negative repercussions compared the restrictive method, because the malabsorptive method impacts how the food is digested which can affect long term growth and overall health.

There are NO FDA Restrictions on Teenage Weight Loss Surgery

As reported on many news broadcasts, the FDA does not advocate teenage weight loss surgery as a way to treat obesity in teens. Despite the fact that this surgical option is not supported by the FDA, there are actually no prohibitions or restrictions to teenage weight loss surgery.

Should doctors decide to use teenage weight loss surgery for the management of obesity, they are still applying the process in an ‘off label” conduct. Since this weight loss procedure has not yet been approved by the FDA for overweight teens, the insurance provider will not cover this.

Effectiveness of Teenage Weight Loss Surgery

Based on research, the success of the gastric banding procedure on teens has revealed varied results. Studies have been done comparing those teens that had undergone this form of teenage weight loss surgery to those who had opted to lose weight with only changes to their lifestyle in order to lose weight. It has revealed that a substantial decrease of weight has been noted with those teens that had undergone a bariatric procedure.

The studies have further revealed that those teens that underwent teenage weight loss surgery lost an average of 77 lbs in two years, while those teens who chose to lose weight the natural way only lost an average of 6.8 lbs.

Gastric Bypass Option

Since the gastric bypass option is very invasive, this procedure is hardly used as an option for overweight teens since there is no conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of this procedure. Those doctors who do choose to use this teenage weight loss surgery option on overweight teens do so for only those teens who have health related problems or complications, such as diabetes.

Surgery Qualifications

Bariatric surgeons will only perform a bariatric surgical procedure on a teen if the adolescent has passed the strict criteria assessment. Youths are closely evaluated to ensure suitability for the weight loss surgery. It is also vital that the patient has attained their full physiological and skeletal development. Also the prospective patient must be overweight with a BMI of 40 or higher to be qualified for teenage weight loss surgery.