Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Shows Promise

While millions of children and teens struggle with childhood obesity, there are several effective weight loss treatments available.

Many adolescents suffering from obesity-related health problems can improve their state of health and lose weight at a steady rate by undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgery. The procedure has been available in the United States since 2001, and The Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery recently performed its 100th LAGB procedure with continued success.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Zitsman, director of the Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery, states that the program available at his center is different than other types of bariatric surgery because it is safer and less traumatic than conventional procedures. With this procedure, the teen’s digestive anatomy is modified enough to stimulate weight loss, but since it is reversible, offers the patient more options if they are not getting the results they want.

Dr. Zitsman reports that nearly 90 percent of adolescents with a body mass index of 40 or higher are unable to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight with medical intervention. Surgery is an effective way for these teens to begin losing weight at a healthy rate and keep it off for the long-term. Teens who carry excess weight are often at risk for experience several health problems including joint problems, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, irregular periods, and many become insulin resistant.

The Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery is one of only four weight loss centers in the United States that has been reviewed by the FDA.

All candidates interested in the LAGB procedure undergo a comprehensive assessment process that includes a thorough review of their current exercise regiment, diet, and an analysis of their mental health by a bariatric surgeon and psychiatrist. All candidates must be screened thoroughly to ensure they are in good health to withstand the effects of the procedure, and that they have realistic expectations about the outcome.

Further Reading

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