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.
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 with a child psychologist for assessment and support.
Generally we like to wait until the adolescent has passed through puberty before offering surgery so typically this is after the age of 15.
Mercy Bariatrics Perth
We have now done 6 patients under the age of 18 with incredibly gratifying results. Self-esteem improves as does school attendance and confidence. If you or your child is morbidly obese and still under 18 we would be happy to meet and discuss if surgery is suitable for you.
Call 08 9272 0420 or see our contact page for email and location details.