Bariatrics at the edge
Options for the morbidly obese younger patient
It’s a sad but true reflection on our changing world that more and more children and adolescents have become morbidly obese. In fact one in four children and adolescents are now either overweight or obese.
Once that pattern of obesity in childhood is set, the general trend is that it just gets worse and very few children really lose their “puppy fat” or grow out of it.
Along the way morbidly obese children and teenagers suffer from increasing rates of joint pain, teasing, bullying and school absenteeism.
It is also now not uncommon for the metabolic problems of hypertension, sleep apnoea, fatty liver and diabetes to be encountered in children younger than ten.
Although childhood surgery is still a contentious issue there is an abundance of evidence to support bariatric surgery in the adolescent age group.
Gastric Sleeve for the younger patient
Sleeve is still our preferred approach because:
- High degree of safety
- No malabsorption
- Powerful technique in the younger group
- Most natural eating style
- Can be repeated or revised to bypass in the future if weight regain occurs
Obviously adolescent patients need to be prepared carefully to make sure they understand the operation and their motivation for having it. This preparation may include consultation will usually involve consultation with a child psychologist for assessment and support. We also have to to take a more measured and age specific approach in the delivery of information and preparation. In most cases this is the biggest and often the first occasion when your teen is being asked to make a decision that will affect them for the rest of their lives. We also work with a paediatrician and a paediatric surgeon in our assessment for the younger teen.
Mercy Bariatrics Perth
We have now done 8 patients under the age of 18 with incredibly gratifying results. Self-esteem improves as does school attendance and confidence. If your child or teen is morbidly obese and between 14 – 18 we would be happy to meet and discuss if surgery is suitable for them.
Call 08 9272 0420 or see our contact page for email and location details.