What is Adolescent Bariatric Surgery and How Does it Help with Weight Loss?
People struggling with obesity may have a hard time dealing with their weight problem because of their eating habits and lack of exercise. Overweight individuals may suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and breathing problems, which can lead to premature death. You can lose a significant amount of calories through regular exercises and following a healthy diet. However, these weight loss methods may fail to work once you become addicted to junk foods and fall behind on your workout routine.
Adolescent obesity has raised many concerns among parents and the public since children and teenagers are at great risk. This necessitates the need for bariatric surgery, which helps reduce the excess amount of fats from your body and controlling your food intake. This article looks into everything you need to know about adolescent bariatric surgery and how it helps with weight loss.
An Overview of Adolescent Bariatric Surgery
An adolescent bariatric surgery is performed on children or teenagers suffering from obesity. It helps to break the vicious weight gain cycle among adolescents to improve their overall health by achieving long-term weight loss. However, it is important to understand that a successful adolescent bariatric surgery depends on many other factors such as tailored exercises, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. It changes the anatomy of your stomach and digestive system to increase the feeling of fullness and reduce hunger. The primary goal of bariatric surgery is to alter the fat metabolism and energy balance in adolescents who suffer from obesity.
How Does Bariatric Surgery Help with Weight Loss?
Adolescent bariatric surgery facilitates weight loss by restricting the amount of food held by the stomach. This causes malabsorption and gastric restriction that controls your food intake. The different types of bariatric surgery procedure include gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, and sleeve gastrectomy. Gastric bypass is one of the most common bariatric surgery for adolescent obesity, as it produces significant long-term weight loss.
The initial procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch by dividing the upper part of the gut from the rest of the stomach. Afterward, the bariatric surgeon dissects the top portion of the small intestine and then connects the bottom end of the divided small intestine to the small stomach pouch created during the first procedure. The surgery is then completed by connecting the top portion of the small intestine further down to allow digestive enzymes and stomach acids from the bypassed stomach to eventually mix with the food.
This type of adolescent bariatric surgery works through several mechanisms. The newly created stomach pouch is smaller in size, which restricts the amount of food you consume translating to less calorie intake. There is less digestion of food in the smaller stomach pouch because the segment of the small intestine that absorbs excess calories and food nutrients no longer processes any food. This means that your body will be absorbing little amounts of calories and nutrients which facilitate long-term weight loss. Rerouting the food stream influences the gut hormones that suppress hunger, promote satiety and reverse the primary mechanism that induces type 2 diabetes in people living with obesity.
When to Consider Adolescent Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery program is meant to promote long-term weight loss in adolescents with morbid obesity. However, there is a criterion used to select a candidate for surgery and may depend on your body mass index and associated illnesses. Adolescent patients are usually taken through a lengthy program of multidisciplinary evaluation and awareness to determine whether bariatric surgery is appropriate for them. A physician may recommend weight loss surgery to an adolescent with a body mass index that exceeds 40 BMI and is unable to lose weight despite regular exercises and intensive medical regimens.
Understanding the Outcome of Bariatric Surgery
Adolescents with severe obesity are at a higher risk of developing adult conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, heart disease, and obstructive sleep apnea. Bariatric surgery may turn out to be the only solution when your efforts to reduce weight prove futile. Although you can lose a significant amount of weight with bariatric surgery, it is usually accompanied by new lifestyle changes such as regulated exercises and healthy eating habits.
The process of losing weight can feel overwhelming and hopeless for many adolescents who have been diagnosed with obesity. It is not easy to pinpoint or remedy the causes of obesity once it reaches a critical level, as it can lead to severe health complications. Adolescent bariatric surgery allows teenagers to lose weight in the long term by controlling food portions and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.