When medical weight-loss programs have proven unsuccessful, bariatric surgery can be an effective treatment. However, it should not be considered a quick fix. Rather, bariatric surgery is part of a teen’s weight-loss journey and commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Our team is committed to make sure you and your teen make an informed decision.
Adolescent bariatric surgery at LVHN
Teens do not have to live with obesity. Weight-loss surgery is a viable, life-changing obesity treatment option. Bariatric surgeon Richard Boorse, MD, with LVPG General, Bariatric and Trauma Surgery, and the LVHN team are thorough in guiding you and your teen in their weight-loss journey.
Bariatric surgery at a glance
Our bariatric surgery team is focused on not only helping an individual lose weight, but also on improving overall health. The benefits of bariatric surgery are substantial. It can improve a young person’s quality of life, reverse diabetes, eliminate sleep apnea, help control high blood pressure and marginalize heart disease risk.
A comprehensive bariatric program
We can help guide your teen’s weight-loss journey. First, you’ll meet with a nurse navigator. Then, from a free virtual information session to the day of the bariatric surgery and care after it, our experts are with you and your teen every step of the way.
Who is a candidate for weight-loss surgery?
Weight-loss surgery is appropriate for teens who have attempted other weight-loss methods or have a health condition compounded by obesity. Generally, eligibility is the same for teens as it is for adults:
- Ages 16 and 17 years old
- Body mass index (BMI) 40 or greater
- BMI 35 or greater if accompanied by a health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension or sleep apnea
Types of bariatric surgery
Through Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence, all bariatric surgeries performed at LVHN use a minimally invasive approach. This offers you or your teen various benefits, including shorter recovery times. Teens stay in Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital following surgery, typically for two nights.
Adolescents are typically recommended for sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve surgery) weight-loss surgery, which works by reducing the size of the stomach. Some teens benefit from gastric bypass (also called Roux-en-Y) surgery. This option, which restricts food intake and prevents the body from absorbing calories, also helps manage acid reflux. Bariatric surgeons work with patients’ families to choose the right option for their unique needs.
Both bariatric surgery options are proven to result in significant weight loss. They also resolve high blood pressure in 70 percent of patients and type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea in 80 percent.