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Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Feb;18(1):47-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038356.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy achieves substantial weight loss in an adolescent girl with morbid obesity.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



The European guidelines for bariatric surgery clearly define criteria for operating children with morbid obesity. However the appropriate technique for this age-group has not been identified yet. So far gastric banding and Roux-Y bypass represent the standards, but they demand life-long tolerance of either an artificial device or significant malabsorption. Although laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) demands neither, it has not been advocated for this age-group as a stand-alone technique. We report the outcome and the rationale for this approach in a 16-year-old girl with morbid obesity.


The patient had been in an intensive weight loss programme for several years, but within the last 12 months her body weight had increased again dramatically. At referral she presented with a body mass index (BMI) of 43.1 kg/m(2) (height 169 cm, preoperative weight 121 kg) and suffered from co-morbidities as features of a developing metabolic-vascular syndrome such as dyslipidemia and arterial hypertension. Our obesity team and her parents opted for surgery at that time. The patient underwent LSG with a 5-trocar technique. With a gastroscope protecting the lesser curvature, the stomach was resected from the antrum to the fundus using an EndoGIA stapler. The operative time was 95 minutes, there were no perioperative complications and the patient was extubated immediately. An upper GI contrast study on postoperative day 4 showed a tubular gastric remnant with a volume of about 200 ml. The patient's diet was advanced as tolerated to full oral intake, and she was followed-up regularly in our special obesity outpatient clinic. After 12 months she had lost 36 kg (BMI 29 kg/m(2)) and enjoyed sports and activities with friends again. Laboratory studies ruled out malnutrition or vitamin deficiency.


LSG is a safe and effective option for bariatric surgery in obese adolescents. It can be offered as a stand-alone restrictive operation and could be extended to a malabsorptive procedure at any time. However longer follow-up is required before universally recommending this procedure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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