Who is a good youth candidate for surgery?

Who is a good youth candidate for surgery?
11 June, 2016 Itzel

Who is a good youth candidate for surgery?

 

Experts in childhood obesity and bariatric surgery suggest that families consider surgery only after youth have tried for at least 6 months to lose weight and have not had success. Candidates should meet the following criteria:

  • Have extreme obesity (BMI > 40)
  • Be their adult height (usually at age 13 or older for girls and 15 or older for boys)
  • Have serious health problems linked to weight, such as type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea, that may improve with bariatric surgery

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In addition, health care providers should assess potential patients and their parents to see how emotionally prepared they are for the surgery and the lifestyle changes they will need to make. Health care providers should also refer young patients to special youth bariatric surgery centers that focus on meeting the unique needs of youth.

Mounting evidence suggests that bariatric surgery can favorably change both the weight and health of youth with extreme obesity. Over the years’ gastric bypass surgery has been the main operation used to treat extreme obesity in youth. An estimated 2,700 youth bariatric surgeries were performed between 1996 and 2003. A review of short-term data from the largest inpatient database in the United States suggests that these surgeries are at least as safe for youth as adults. As yet, AGB has not been approved for use in the United States for people younger than age 18. However, favorable weight-loss outcomes after AGB for youth have been reported abroad.

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