Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Are obese adolescents too young for bariatric surgery?

Date:
May 4, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Severely obese adolescents may desire or potentially benefit from bariatric surgery. However, half of primary care physicians say they would not recommend the procedure to a patient under the age of 18, according to new research.

Severely obese adolescents may desire or potentially benefit from bariatric surgery. However, half of primary care physicians say they would not recommend the procedure to a patient under the age of 18, according to research published in Obesity Surgery.

Related Articles


Childhood obesity has increased dramatically since the 1970s. Obese adolescents are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, non-alcoholic steotohepatitis, sleep apnea, choleolithiasis and premature death as adults.

Researchers surveyed a national random sample of pediatricians and family physicians for their opinions on referring adolescents for bariatric surgery. They discovered half of these physicians would not consider it for adolescent patients.

"We still have a lot to learn about the long term effects of bariatric surgery among adolescents," says Susan Woolford, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Michigan, "But recent studies suggest that it can be helpful to improve the health outcomes of severely obese adolescents."

"Physicians worry whether the risks will outweigh the benefits," adds Woolford, who is also an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases at U-M. "How long adolescents will be able to sustain the weight loss and what the psychological outcomes would be in their future, are questions that are still being explored. If findings are similar to those in adults, there could be significant weight loss and health benefits."

Physicians who support the possibility of bariatric surgery for adolescents may do so because studies have indicated that obesity in adolescents has long-term health effects even if patients eventually lose weight, the authors write. Adolescent years can also be difficult socially and emotionally for extremely obese youth.

"With the increasing media presentations of surgeries for weight loss among the general public and Hollywood celebrities, more obese adolescents and their parents are likely to consider it," the authors write. Primary care physicians should be prepared to discuss this treatment option with families.

"Primary care physicians are on the front line of obesity treatment," says Woolford, "Their attitudes regarding bariatric surgery may affect whether or not an adolescent pursues the procedure."

The study also found almost all physicians endorsed participation in a monitored weight loss program as a prerequisite for bariatric surgery, though the minimum suggested duration for participation varied from three months to over 5 years.

For adolescents, participating in these programs could be helpful by providing time to make a stable decision regarding surgery and to adopt healthy habits that will improve their post-operative course, but the delay in surgery could also lead to further weight gain.

The authors suggest further studies should explore primary care physicians' knowledge regarding the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery for adolescents and the basis upon which they make referral decisions regarding bariatric surgery for their obese patients.

Along with Woolford, Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H., Achamyeleh Gebremariam, M.S., Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P. and Gary L. Freed, M.D., M.P.H., all of the University of Michigan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. The original article was written by Jenna Frye. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan J. Woolford, Sarah J. Clark, Achamyeleh Gebremariam, Matthew M. Davis and Gary L. Freed. To Cut or Not to Cut: Physicians%u2019 Perspectives on Referring Adolescents for Bariatric Surgery. Obesity Surgery, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s11695-010-0152-9

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Are obese adolescents too young for bariatric surgery?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503161512.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2010, May 4). Are obese adolescents too young for bariatric surgery?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503161512.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Are obese adolescents too young for bariatric surgery?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503161512.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins