Between January 2010 and December 2011, 23 patients between the ages of 14 and 19 underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. All of the procedures were completed via laparoscopic approach and patients remained in the hospital for an average of 2.2 days. There was no operative mortality and no patients suffered long term surgical morbidity. The average excess weight loss of the patients who reached one year follow up was 40%. Even more importantly, the majority of patients who underwent the surgical procedure had complete resolution of their weight related comorbidities.
The journey is not over after weight loss surgery. Far from it. Some teens may need body contouring surgeries to get rid of the excess skin and flab that remain after massive weight loss. Unlike their peers, teens who have undergone weight loss surgery must be hypervigilant about what they eat, when they eat and how they eat it. Teens often want to fit in, and such regimented eating may make them stand out.
Long-term medical and psychological follow-up is also necessary after weight loss surgery. It is no quick fix. Weight loss surgery involves a deep commitment and intensive follow-through. In the right adolescent, however, weight loss surgery can improve overall quality of life and self-esteem.