Childhood obesity is a complex condition that dramatically increases a child’s risk for serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, depression, and disabilities. When other methods for weight loss are exhausted, bariatric surgery is a surgical intervention that can enable teens to reach a healthier weight.
Children’s Bariatric (Weight-Loss) Surgery Program aims to help adolescents who are morbidly obese. Bariatric surgery is still a relatively new procedure in adolescents, and it is important that the surgery is performed by a pediatric team who understands the special needs of young patients — the physical and physiological differences as well as behavioral and psychological factors that influence health.
The program’s multidisciplinary team includes child psychologists and psychiatrists, physical therapists, nutritionists, anesthesiologists, otorhinolaryngologists, and staff nurses.
Weight-Loss Surgery and Treatment
When your child has bariatric surgery at Children’s National, we involve the entire family. There are currently two surgical treatment options for morbidly obese adolescents: the sleeve gastrectomy and the LAP-BAND®.
We work with you and your child to determine the best treatment, and to develop an individual lifestyle and follow-up plan that considers treatment before and after the procedure. During surgery, your child is cared for by one of the top-rated pediatric teams in the nation.
To be considered for bariatric surgery, children must meet these requirements:
Be at least 14 years old
Reached a certain level of physical development
Have a history of obesity for at least 3 years
Unable to lose weight another way
Have a BMI of at least 35 with an obesity-related condition, or a BMI greater than 40 without an obesity-related condition