International Metabolic Bariatric Center has been identified as the world's teenage weight loss surgery destination. Due to the rapidly rising epidemic of teen obesity in America, Worldwide audience followed the case of a young patient that underwent a bariatric procedure and then started on her exciting journey of significant weight loss.
Obesity, an issue historically linked only to adults, has been growing at alarming rates among teens. Currently, nearly a quarter of American teenagers are overweight or obese. Weight-related diseases, previously almost unheard of in adolescents as little as 10 years ago, are becoming increasingly commonplace as well. In fact, the rate of diabetes in obese adolescents has increased 33% in the last decade alone.
In our experience, and after scores of minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgeries performed in our hospital on teens, patients can expect a 60% to 70% loss of excess weight and it can be maintained by following the proper procedures. This is a life-changing experience at a time when young adults are developing their self-image and beginning the socialization process. There is no reason why a teen should struggle with their appearance or rejection issues as a result of obesity.
Weight loss surgeries among teens have quadrupled in the last few years according to a recent report published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Researchers suggests that bariatric surgeries performed early in adolescence "could more effectively reverse complications of obesity" that might appear later as an adult.
Renowned surgeons recently added: "Adolescent obesity continues to be under-treated. We know that obese 14 to 18-year-olds are at risk for significant and even fatal conditions as they grow older. In cases where medical therapy doesn’t work, surgery is an effective treatment option."
Unfortunately, few other treatments are available to help obese adolescents who are unable to lose weight and are already suffering from obesity-related health problems. Weight loss surgeries provide hope for young lives that are struggling with hopelessness during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
To discuss your specific situation in confidence, or to learn more about your options for bariatric surgery in Mexico, please call us toll-free from the U.S. or Canada at (1 800 533 8160).
International Metabolic Bariatric Center is a leading provider of weight loss procedures to patients throughout Mexico and the United States. In addition to performing procedures for adolescents, the practice treats adult patients, including gastric balloon and gastric bypass, gastric sleeve surgery, and metabolic surgery.
What procedure is best for adolescents?
There is no single best procedure in weight-loss, but when considering that the life expectancy of an adolescent is much more than an adult and that many adolescents are still growing physically and maturing mentally, the least invasive procedure tends to be most desired. It is essential that the adolescent, the family and the medical team be involved in the decision making.
What is the minimum age for teen Weight Loss Surgery?
When teenage surgery was still considered controversial, the youngest patient operated on was 13 years old. A decade later patients as you as six years of age have undergone weight loss surgery but this is not the norm. Most patients at IMBC are considered to be candidates for surgery when the level of maturity is such that they understand the need for a procedure and their role in the success. Physical maturity is always important and stature, as well as some radiological metrics, are performed.
What conditions must a teen have to be a candidate?
As medicine evolves so do the indications for surgery but in general any patient with a 30 BMI or 30% Body Fat is at higher risk to develop weight-related disease than the general population. Physical maturity as measured by stature and bone maturity is a good indicator of the level of overall development of the teenager. A good understanding of the procedure and what is required of the patient is also essential as the adolescent will be responsible for using the tool effectively.
Childhood and Adolescent Obesity
Obesity is not exclusive to adults. Each day, more and more children are finding themselves at risk for overweight and obesity. Childhood obesity often accompanies many of the obesity-related conditions adults affected by obesity often experience, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and more. Recent data shows that up to 80 percent of children affected by obesity will continue to be affected by obesity into adulthood.
Childhood Obesity at a Glance
Obesity impacts children in a variety of ways. First and foremost, a child’s health is impacted as they have now opened themselves up to a wide variety of health issues – issues that most of us didn’t experience until middle-age. In addition to health implications, there’s also one other area that children face which can be very serious – weight bias and bullying.
Kids impacted by obesity often find themselves the target of bullying. This bullying can take place in the classroom, in your neighborhood and even in your own home. It is very important to recognize this type of behavior and address it quickly.
How Do We Treat Childhood Obesity?
You may be thinking to yourself, “I know my child is affected by obesity, but I don’t know what to do.” This is not uncommon. Treating childhood obesity is similar to treating obesity in adults; however, it is important to keep very open lines of communication with your children during treatment choice and when it starts as children will often not share their feelings as they fear disappointing you as their parent.
There are various treatments available for childhood obesity, such as behavioral and lifestyle modification, pharmacotherapy and bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. We are going to focus on bariatric surgery in this section.
Why Bariatric Surgery?
When a child is first examined by his or her pediatrician or primary care doctor, you can expect a thorough evaluation detailing the child’s food intake, physical activity level, blood work and more. Once you, your child and their healthcare professional have gathered this information, you can then begin to discuss treatment options.
While treatments such as behavioral and lifestyle modifications may work for the majority of children affected by obesity and help them increase their health, there are children affected by severe obesity that require more aggressive treatment such as bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery, which is commonly performed on adults affected by severe obesity, has been shown to produce long-lasting weight-loss and improvement in many obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and more.
Currently, the most common operations being performed in children affected by severe obesity are the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
The goal of bariatric surgery is to provide the most benefit possible with the lowest risk. With this in mind, many research studies have been done to evaluate outcomes following bariatric surgery in adolescents, and many more are ongoing. The information and recommendations contained here are based on a recent review of the available medical literature and extensive discussion by a panel of experts on childhood obesity and bariatric surgery.