October 1, 2023

Can an Adolescent Get Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric Surgery Orange County

In America, where morbid obesity is on the rapid rise, childhood obesity is also one of the major problems. When the BMI of a child is more than or equal to the 85th percentile for their age and sex, the child is overweight. If the BMI reaches the 95th percentile or goes beyond it then the child is obese. Research shows that if a child is obese at the age of 12 then, there are 98% chance for the child to be obese in their adulthood. And this is no good news as it could give rise to various health conditions that might adversely affect their life.

 Some of the most common health conditions that obese youth suffers from are diabetes, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure. Among adults, the list may even include arthritis, cancer, and stroke. Hence, this is one such problem that we should take care of. According to Bariatric Surgery Orange County, a lifestyle change can help in averting obesity. These changes include eating a healthy diet and working out regularly. However, if the individual is suffering from morbid obesity then bariatric surgery is the only available option.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents

According to researchers, adolescents can get the same benefit just as adults from bariatric surgery. If your ward is obese and your effort with diet and exercise has not been helpful so far then surgery is the solution. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, weight loss is an option for youth if the team of specialists includes experts in mental health, nutrition, exercise, and pediatric experts.

Research has shown that adolescent who had undergone bariatric surgery has been successful in reducing their BMI by 30%. Those that opted out of surgery, on the other hand, have seen an increase of about 3.4 points in their BMI. Also, those who were successful in losing their body weight were successful in maintaining their body weight for about 5 years approximately.

National Institutes for Health has released a study showing that most of the youths suffering from type 2 diabetes who had undergone the surgery were able to reduce their sugar level for more than three years. In fact, the rate of remission among youths was higher in comparison to the adults.

Nevertheless, just the thought of surgery often causes a lot of worries. But bariatric surgery is one of the safest and most effective procedures. A team of well–experienced surgeons and a strong multidisciplinary team can actually educate you and provide you support regarding the procedure. in most cases, complications rarely occur and even if it does occur, they are minor complications.

One of the most common complications that patients often come across is micronutrient deficiency. The doctors will prescribe supplements to help with it. But the most challenging task is to get the adolescents to adhere to taking the supplements regularly. This is why it is important to search for a center that provides team support and follow-ups even after the surgery. As far as long-term effects are concerned, it is still unknown. Besides, micronutrient deficiencies, other risks may include

  • Dehydration
  • Requirement for additional surgery
  • Blood clots

Who Can Benefit From Bariatric Surgery in Orange County?

As per the American Academy of Pediatricians, both adults and adolescents can consider the surgical procedure as an option if they fulfill the following criteria:

If the adolescent,

  • BMI is equal to or more than 35 and is suffering from one or more obesity-related health complications.
  • BMI is more than 40

However, bariatric surgery is not for everyone. Even if they fall in the above category, if the adolescent will not qualify for the surgery if the youth

  • is suffering from substance abuse.
  • suffers from eating disorders.
  • is planning for pregnancy or is pregnant.

If you are the right candidate then weight loss surgery will definitely benefit you. Following is a comprehensive list of additional criteria to determine if your child is the right candidate for bariatric surgery.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Your child successively took part in a medical weight loss program for at least four to six months.
  • The BMI of your child is more than 40. If your child suffers from obesity-related health complications and the BMI is equal to or more than 35.
  • Manifest conviction to the medical and psychological evaluations prior to and post-surgery.
  • Must avoid pregnancy for two years after the surgery.
  • Willing to follow the instructions and guidelines including a scheduled workout routine with proper commitment.
  • The decision taken must be an informed decision. This means that the patient must have a clear understanding of the facts and complications associated with the surgery.

Only those patients should consider weight loss surgery if they are willing to commit themselves to a long-term follow-up plan. They must strictly adhere to the medical guidelines, lifelong dietary changes, and exercise. One must be aware that weight loss surgery is not a quick-fix solution but a journey that requires patience and conviction. Always speak to your primary healthcare provider and seek their advice. They will be helpful in recommending the best bariatric surgeons. 

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