Weight Loss :: Weight loss surgery for obese kids more common

With improvements in surgical technique and increases in the number of dangerously obese children, a group of four hospitals is starting a study examining how children respond to various types of weight loss surgery.

As the popularity of stomach weight loss surgery has increased among obese adults, a growing number of doctors are asking, “Why not children, too?”

A group of four hospitals, led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, are starting a large-scale study this spring examining how children respond to various types of weight-loss surgery, including the gastric bypass, in which a pouch is stapled off from the rest of the stomach and connected to the small intestine.

Radical stomach-shrinking surgery safely helps obese teens drop an average 100 pounds – and could soon be an option for the nation’s overstuffed kids. Gastric banding, known as a “lap band” or “belly band,” is performed on teens in only a handful of hospitals, but the study’s success means kids across the country soon could get skinnier with surgery.

There are a number of surgical options available to treat obesity, each with their advantages and pitfalls. In general, weight reduction can be accomplished, but one must consider operative risk (including mortality) and side effects. Usually, these procedures can be carried out safely. Procedures can be grouped in three main categories (although this is somewhat artificial):

1. Predominantly malabsorptive procedures: although also reducing stomach size, these operations are based mainly on malabsorption.
— Biliopancreatic Diversion (Scopinaro procedure – rare)

2. predominantly restrictive procedures: this kind of surgery primarily reduces stomach size
— Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (Mason procedure, stomach stapling)
— Adjustable gastric band (or “Lap Band”)
— Sleeve gastrectomy

3.Mixed procedures: applying both techniques simultaneously
— gastric bypass surgery, like Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
— Sleeve gastrectomy with Duodenal Switch

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