Bariatric Surgery for Teenagers
Surgery is not an easy experience for anyone to go through, but it is especially tough for those at a young age who are obese. Health problems related to being overweight, like type 2 diabetes or heart disease, is a serious cause for concern and should not be taken lightly when considering something as serious as bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is considered on a case-by-case basis for younger patients who might be candidates.
Prerequisites for surgery
Bariatric surgery is a big step that requires life-long changes in eating and other lifestyle habits. Bariatric surgery significantly alters your digestive anatomy, sometimes permanently. The following items are prerequisites for bariatric surgery in teenagers:
- BMI of 40 or above
- Adult height
- Fourteen years of age or more
- Good overall health to tolerate and recover from surgery
- Proper mental and psychological health; emotionally prepared
- Understanding of the life-long commitment that bariatric surgery requires
- Commitment to change dietary and physical lifestyle
- Ability to attend postsurgery counseling
- Support network of family and friends to see you through surgery and successful weight loss
Bariatric doctors, especially those who have treated adolescent bariatric patients, are careful to ensure that the teen is ready for this life-changing-and often traumatic-procedure. There are often several meetings with the doctor or surgeon and psychologists before the actual bariatric surgery takes place in order to determine if the adolescent patient is ready to undergo bariatric surgery. If the obese teenager meets the prerequisites above and has made a concerted effort to lose weight for at least six months without success, then surgery may be considered.
Find out more about bariatric surgery
For more information on bariatric surgery, browse the menu options to the left. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, use our bariatric surgeon locator.