Bariatric Surgery In Kids And AdolescentsFriday, September 26, 2014
Earlier this week I spoke at the 5th Conference on Childhood and Adolescent Obesity, organised by Jon McGavock and colleagues from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where one of the topics discussed in depth was the role of bariatic surgery in children and adolescents with severe obesity.
This is obviously an issue fraught with social, psychological, medical and ethical issues – no one wants to have to do surgery on these kids but there are often no other alternatives when behavioural interventions are simply not enough.
Now a review of this rather complex field by Halley Wasserman and Thomas Inge from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center appears in Pediatric Annals.
The paper discusses in depth the indications and potential benefits of bariatric surgery in adolescents with severe obesity but also highlights the important acute and long-term complications that must be monitored during follow-up (usually by their general pediatricians).
This article should of interest to anyone who counsels children and adolescents with severe obesity in their practice.
Wasserman H, & Inge TH (2014). Bariatric surgery in obese adolescents: opportunities and challenges. Pediatric annals, 43 (9) PMID: 25198448
Friday, September 26, 2014
As a parent I wouldn’t want a young person to get this surgery unless there was a lifetime of support afterwards, both medically and psychologically. It is very difficult to no longer be able to eat a larger meal when you want – this impacts special occasions, how you can eat with friends and family, restricts eating out etc. If the underlying issues influencing their original eating habits are not addressed it may not have long term success in weight loss maintenance.