At What Point Should a Teen Consider Weight Loss Surgery? By Allan Joseph Cribbins on April 23, 2024

Teenager weighing self in scale in bedroomIt can be incredibly stressful to raise a teen who is struggling with obesity. In addition to the negative effects obesity can have on their health and quality of life, the inability to lose weight through diet and exercise can harm your teen’s self-confidence.

While bariatric surgery to achieve life-changing weight loss is not suitable for all younger patients, weight loss surgery can be a solution for some teenage patients. In this blog post, I will detail when weight loss surgery should be considered for a teenage patient.

Obesity Is Incredibly Dangerous

Obesity is an epidemic. According to a survey from the National Health and Nutrition Examination, 20.6% of Americans aged 12 to 19 are obese.

Being obese can lead to a wide range of severely harmful issues that include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Official Pediatric Guidelines

With obesity rates continuing to increase in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its first ever comprehensive guidelines for treating childhood and adolescent obesity in 2023.

One of the key factors to assess when evaluating obesity is body mass index (BMI). Any child with a BMI equal to or greater than 120% of the 95th percentile of other children of their age and sex is considered severely obese. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is only these severely obese children who should be treated with bariatric surgery.

You and Your Child Must Be Ready for Lifestyle Changes

Bariatric surgery is only recommended when lifestyle interventions and weight loss pharmacology have failed. While bariatric surgery can encourage weight loss, it must be accompanied with proper post-operative care and healthy behaviors to achieve its intended effects. My Plano team will help explain all the necessary modifications your teen must make.

Potential Bariatric Surgery Procedures for Teens

The bariatric surgeries I may perform for your teen are the same as those an adult patient would undergo. Naturally, any procedure would be tailored to your child’s individualized needs.

One potential procedure I may suggest is gastric sleeve surgery, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy. A gastric sleeve reduces a patient’s hunger and desire to eat while inducing remission or elimination of various obesity-related conditions. Within one year of surgery, up to 70% of excess weight can be erased.

Another bariatric solution I offer is gastric bypass. Gastric bypass surgery limits the amount of food that a patient’s stomach can hold, placing a limit on the amount of calories the body can intake. It also alters gut hormones to make feelings of fullness last longer, suppress appetite, and reverse metabolic issues caused by obesity.

Request Your Consultation

As a board-certified bariatric surgeon, I have specialized knowledge in bariatric surgery and its life-changing application for children, teens, and adults. I create customized treatment plans and utilize the most cutting-edge techniques and technology, such as da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgery.

To find out if your teen is a suitable candidate for weight loss surgery, request a consultation at my Plano, TX, office.

Related to This

dr joe cribbins and dr edmund chen DAVINCI robotic bariatric surgeons voted best doctors of Dallas, TX

Texas Center for
Bariatrics & Advanced Surgery

Our highly skilled and experienced board-certified surgeons specialize in ultra-minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery. They are affiliated with a number of national associations, including the:

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS)
  • Fellow American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (FASMBS)

To request a consultation, contact us online or call (214) 501-1333 today.

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