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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011 Jun;23(3):351-5. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e3283465923.

Contemporary surgical management of the obese adolescent.

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  • 1Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ohio 45229, USA.



Adolescent obesity is rapidly becoming a significant public health issue. To date, there are no medical therapies that provide significant and durable weight loss. The surgical treatment of adolescent obesity is a rapidly evolving field.


Recent publications have focused on the increase in the morbidity and mortality of adolescent obesity into adulthood. There have been significant findings that overweight children and adolescents progress towards severe obesity as adults. Firm guidelines for bariatric surgery in adults have been established for over 15 years, but there have been insufficient data in regards to guidelines for adolescents. The trend has always been to be more conservative, but a recent paper reviews the available literature to establish new guidelines. Adolescents can see a significant amount of weight loss in the first year after bariatric surgery with a resolution of diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors. Bariatric surgery is well tolerated and effective, but carries with it long-term nutritional deficiencies, which need to be assessed and supplemented.


Given the recent rise in obesity seen in this population, the surgical management of the adolescent has increased in popularity. Bariatric surgery is well tolerated and provides significant weight loss in those who are severely obese.

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