We hear stories all over the news these days about the obesity epidemic and how it affects the country. More and more adults are turning to surgical weight loss options, which helps them safely lose weight. But with childhood obesity on the rise, the question gets raised more and more: is bariatric surgery right for a teenager? When you meet with a Dallas bariatric surgeon, you can discuss this issue in greater detail. Right now, however, we’d like to cover this issue in brief so you have an understanding of the various concerns involved.
Teens and Obesity – A Serious Health Issue
Teens who are obese and morbidly obese face a number of problems both in the immediate future and down the road. First of all, the chance of developing type 2 diabetes goes up dramatically if you are obese or morbidly obese. In addition, some teens may notice joint pain and discomfort due to the extra weight they carry. Sleep apnea is often more likely for people who are morbidly obese, and the chances of developing a serious health problem later in life goes up a great deal for obese teens. It’s no wonder that more and more parents are coming to our Dallas and Arlington bariatric surgery practice to ask about surgery.
Psychological Issues Associated with Teenage Obesity
On top of all the physical problems, the psychological toll on a teen can be tremendous. Morbidly obese teens are likely to be teased or bullied about their weight and appearance. Teens who are morbidly obese are also subject to depression and low self-esteem due to poor body image. All of these issues can lead to major or prolonged clinical depression later in life.
Candidacy for Weight Loss Surgery
The ideal candidates for weight loss surgery are people who are morbidly obese, meaning they have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40. Sometimes people with a BMI of 35-40 are eligible for bariatric surgery, though these people usually need to have a pressing health concern or other factors in play. When possible, we encourage patients to lose weight naturally, though we understand that this may not be viable for all people.
How common is weight loss surgery for teens?
Teenage gastric banding or gastric bypass surgery in Dallas is not very common. That isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, it’s just that it’s rare for the time being. Studies are being conducted right now to see if undergoing weight loss surgery as a teen has any affect on growth and development. Generally, teens need to have a pressing health concern to be able to undergo bariatric surgery before adulthood.
We will be sure to keep you updated about all of the news related to teens and weight loss surgery as that news becomes available.
Contact Our Bariatric Surgery Center to Learn More
It’s important that you contact our Dallas and Arlington weight loss surgery centers today with your questions. Whether it involves teenage bariatric surgery or surgical weight loss options for adults, we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions in greater detail so that you understand all of your options.