Childhood Obesity Surgical Treatment in Perth
Unfortunately there is no publicly funded and dedicated Childhood Obesity Surgery program in Western Australia. Until now, parents have had to rely on Adult Bariatric Practices to fill this Gap. We believe that we can do better than that.
What Is The Teen Time Bariatrics Program?
The surgical treatment for childhood obesity (focusing on teenagers) is a new program, developed by Teen Time Bariatrics, within the setting of Mercy Bariatrics in Perth.
The program is 100% teen focused. What that means for you as an adolescent, is that we support and prepare you for the surgical treatment, with a special program for your age group.
We use the best (science-based) evidence available worldwide, to prepare you for your surgery. That’s because we believe that you deserve to be properly educated and informed about the procedure and the expected outcomes.
We have created Teen Time Bariatrics because through our experience, we learned that both the patient (the teen) and the parents, deserve and need support prior to and after the surgery.
And of course your weight loss surgeon and the Teen Time Bariatrics team monitor you closely after your procedure.
When you look into surgical treatment for childhood obesity or weight loss surgery for teenagers, there is a lot of information out there. We take a clear position: adolescent bariatrics is NOT just adult bariatrics in a younger age!
Although the recommended surgical treatment favoured for weight loss surgery in teens (sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass), are technically the same in adults and adolescents, the program needs to be different.
As a teenager, you learn and think differently. So we must make sure that the information we provide, and the preparation pace, are appropriate to where you are at. In general, it means that we spend more time with you, making sure that you are ready to make the decision as a teenager.
The program works with you as a teenager, and also engages with you if you are the parent looking into the information. Along the way, our team members will be issuing ‘challenges’.
We make sure that the young patient is committed to the program. This is important because of the lifestyle changes that are needed to make the surgery work to its best.
At the end of the preparation program, and before surgery is agreed upon, an independent bariatric consultant will confirm that your teenager is ready to take this step. It means they have acquired the necessary knowledge. And it means that they fully understand the potential risks and consequences of their surgery.
Who Are The Team At Teen Time Bariatrics?
Experienced Bariatric Surgeons
Our surgeons here at Teen Time Bariatrics are experienced obesity surgeons. They all have many years of experience in the field of bariatric surgery. We have confidence in the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, as being the current best surgery type for effective weight loss. We are also confident that this choice incurs the lowest risk of exposing your teen to long term nutritional complications.
If your teen is younger than 16, they will be seen by our paediatrician. Patients older than 16 are seen by the bariatrics physician. These consults are important to verify that they have no illnesses related to childhood obesity, such as diabetes or fatty liver. These experts in our team will also be involved in your teen’s long-term support program and in the management of their surgical treatment. The paediatricians here at Teen Time Bariatrics have a long experience with weight control medicine.
Specialist Clinical Psychologist
A specialist clinical psychologist will work closely with the patient, both before and after surgery, and also with your parents or any other caregiver. We are here to make sure that – as a patient – you are well prepared, motivated and resourced. It’s our role to support you as you move through your surgical treatment journey and beyond.
This work with our psychologist helps us make a plan and manage any challenges along the way. For our team, it’s about determining your strengths as an individual and as a family. And we know from experience that if we also deal with any psychological and social challenges, we optimise your chances of the best possible long-term outcomes.
We have a team of exercise physiologists, in our own bariatrics-focused gym. They will assess the teen’s fitness level. And our hidden agenda is also to encourage them to re-engage with exercise. As a family, be prepared for some exciting and amazing challenges. The challenges will take the teenage patient outside of their comfort zone, so they can prove to themselves what they are capable of!
As a family, you also get support from our dietitians.
Our dietitians will teach you and your teen how to prepare for your surgery and achieve the best long term weight loss and health following the surgery. They will help you make better food choices to maximise your weight loss and maintain good nutrition.
In some cases they will help you achieve the preoperative weight loss needed to conduct the surgery safely. They are part of the key followup team after surgery
Our life coach and support group leader is your anchor person for achieving a great outcome after surgery . We deliver a success habits training course after your surgery to make sure that you get the best out of your sleeve.
We hold monthly support group meetings and are developing a teen focussed club for our patients.
The Teen Time Bariatrics Program In More Detail
Your program will start with a consultation with our weight loss surgeon to make sure that surgery could be right for you.
We will usually ask you to then go away and think about things, returning a week later to confirm your intention to proceed with the program and make bookings for the next phase of the assessment and the education program.
The second step is the team assessment and the education program.. This will involve visits to the other members of our team, to educate you about the surgery, the diet and the exercise program after your weight loss surgery. Our specialist paediatrician or adolescent physician will help you identify any problems that you may have, that will affect your surgery.
The amount of visits will depend on your willingness to engage and learn. In other words, we want you to demonstrate that you are ready to put these principles into practice.
In teens younger than 16, a final review will be made by an outside paediatric surgeon who is separate from our unit. They will confirm that you are ready for surgery and that you fully understand the surgery. They will check once again that you really understand the lifestyle changes you will need to make, to safely proceed.
You will meet with your surgeon again to get the final bits of advice and to complete the consent documents with your parents.
The surgery. This will be done either at St John of God Hospital Mount Lawley or at the Mount Hospital. If necessary or appropriate we can arrange one of your parents to room in with you.
Typically it is only two nights in hospital and we make sure that you are comfortable and well cared for all the time. You will be up and about and self caring even on the first evening after surgery. You should only have to miss about one week of school.
We then plan your post-op review and look at what we call your ‘Success Habits’. We will see you about two weeks after surgery. You will be invited to attend our unique “Success Habits” post-op training sessions, held for one hour over 4 weeks which is like our finishing school to really get you to learn how to get the best out of your weight loss treatment.
Regular follow up with team members at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 2 years. At each visit there are a few checkpoints to make sure you are on track with your weight loss, maintaining good nutrition and that your obesity related problems are resolving.