To be considered for surgery, teens must:

  1. Be physically mature - completed pubertal development.
  2. Actively participate in at least 6 consecutive months of medically supervised weight loss.
  3. Have a diagnosed health problem related to being overweight, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.
  4. Be emotionally mature and show evidence of ability to care for ones-self and adhere to medical recommendations.
  5. Have no evidence of psychological difficulties that would interfere with ability to care for their self after surgery.
  6. Have an available and accessible support system to assist with needs pre and post-surgery.

Bariatric surgery, like any other surgery is a serious decision and requires thoughtful planning and preparation by the teenager, his/her family, and medical professionals. Like many other quality weight management centers, our guiding principle is that bariatric surgery for teens should not occur in isolation, but in an environment that meets the unique physical, medical, behavioral, psychosocial and emotional needs of adolescents and their families.

Types of Surgery

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomies in adolescents were developed out of necessity to find a safe, effective treatment method for adolescents with obesity who have failed all other medical options. Current medical treatment includes rigorous multidisciplinary weight management. Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach along the greater curvature. The result is a sleeve or tube like structure. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach, although there could be some dilatation of the stomach later on in life. The procedure is performed laparoscopically and is irreversible.

How long will gastric sleeve surgery take?

Gastric sleeve surgery takes about one to two hours and the hospital stay is generally 3-5 days. This may vary from patient to patient.

How much weight will I lose with gastric sleeve surgery?

You may lose up to 3-5 pounds per week after gastric sleeve surgery. This, of course, depends on how well you follow the diet and exercise program after surgery.

Gastric Bypass

With gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is created by stapling closed the top portion of the stomach, separating it from the lower portion. Then your surgeon brings up the small intestine and joins it to the pouch. After surgery, food will travel down your throat and enter this small pouch. The volume of food it takes to fill the pouch is very small, which makes you feel full quickly. The food then travels directly into your intestine from the pouch. The digestive juices from your stomach and small intestine will still mix with the food in your intestine, just farther down.

How long will Gastric Bypass Surgery take

Gastric bypass surgery usually takes three to four hours. The hospital stay is generally three to four days. This may vary from patient to patient.

How much weight will I lose with gastric bypass surgery?

Initially you will lose 1/2-1 pound a day after bypass surgery. Over the next couple of years, most people, on average, lose two-thirds of their excess weight. For example, if you weigh 300 pounds, and your ideal weight is 150 pounds, you can expect to lose about 100 pounds. Of course, the weight loss depends on how well you follow the diet and exercise program after surgery.