Gastric Banding Surgery Safe for Teens
JSAPA Weight Loss Surgery has been proven to be an effective treatment option for adults who are morbidly obese, and new studies suggest that it may also be a safe solution for obese adolescents.
Two recent studies analyzed the effectiveness of weight loss surgery for helping adolescents lose weight as well as the risk and complications for younger patients. In one study, presented to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Dr. Robert Cywes a bariatric surgeon from Jacksonville, Florida looked at data from over 400 adolescent patients who underwent gastric banding surgery between 2005 and 2009. The study found that the average BMI of the gastric banding patients dropped from 43 to 35.7 six months after surgery, and continued down to 31.9 a year after surgery. None of the patients died during or after surgery and all operations were successfully completed laparoscopically. Other complications were extremely rare. Dr. Cywes states that his findings suggest that adjustable gastric banding is effective with an “acceptably low complication rate” in adolescent patients. He says, “Age should be less of an issue than obesity and health when considering patients for surgery.”
Another study presented at the same meeting examined the outcome of 17 gastric banding surgeries performed on morbidly obese adolescents. This study confirmed that gastric banding produced a significant reduction in weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and insulin resistance while bearing a very low complication rate.
These studies suggest that gastric banding surgery may be a safe solution for adolescents who struggle with childhood obesity. It is recommended that these younger patients undergo extensive education and preparation before having surgery to ensure that they’ll be able to make the necessary lifestyle changes following the surgery.