Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery

February 22, 2012

Adolescent weight loss surgery has become a hot topic in recent years especially because of the staggering rise in adolescent obesity. This, in turn, has contributed to diagnoses of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in ever younger children. Partly because of the concern about the long-term viability of performing a weight loss procedure on an adolescent, our practice does not perform surgery on those under the age of 18. However, the idea of whether or not bariatric surgery is appropriate for adolescents is certainly an idea to be explored now and in the future.

Obesity and morbid obesity is dangerous and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic status. As such, weight loss surgery can be considered for certain adolescents whose obesity is uncontrollable and life-threatening. However, just as adults have to control their diet, exercise and lifestyle after surgery, so to do adolescents. Their relative immaturity may make it more difficult for them to follow the prescribed diet and exercise plan that is crucial to success.

The effects and results of adolescent bariatric surgery are, as yet, largely unknown and unproven. Unproven too is the idea of whether or not an adolescent can effectively self-motivate. As we learn more about the options available to the young and obese, it will be clearer as to whether weight loss surgery is an acceptable option for our younger population in the fight against morbid obesity.

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Advanced Surgical Associates is one of the first exclusively surgical groups practicing in Union County New Jersey. And that is just the first of many firsts for ASA. For over 40 years, we have pioneered breakthrough surgical patient care in North Jersey in both general and weight loss surgery. ASA also offers gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding to those suffering from obesity in New Jersey.
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