Youth and Bariatric Surgery

December 6, 2019

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Anchor lead: The American Academy of Pediatrics now supports bariatric surgery for some under the age of 18, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Severely obese children and adolescents should have access to weight loss or bariatric surgery, the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated. Kimberly Steele, an adolescent bariatric surgery expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Steele: This is the very first time that they are endorsing bariatric surgery in kids and adolescents. Why is that? Well, we have a real issue right now. There’s 4.5 million kids and teens that are suffering with obesity. There is now enough evidence in the literature to demonstrate that intervening sooner might be the right thing to do because kids and teens who undergo the bariatric surgery actually do better than adults.  :30

Steele says conditions such as diabetes usually resolve very quickly and thus younger people are able to avoid the long term consequences of such chronic health conditions. She notes that choosing a center with expertise in this population is prudent. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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