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Zentralbl Chir. 2009 Dec;134(6):532-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1224643. Epub 2009 Dec 17.

[Bariatric surgery in children and adolescents].

[Article in German]

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Universitätsklinikum Leipzig AöR, Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinderchirurgie, Leipzig, Deutschland.


Obesity in childhood and adolescents has gained epidemic proportions; in Germany 15-20 % of boys and girls are overweight, more than 6 % are known to be obese. By now, 25 % of relevant people show a pathological glucose intolerance, 4-5 % are developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In addition, metabolic disorders leading to hypertension and cardiac, renal or ophthalmological complications could be named as serious comorbidities. Medical and behavioural intervention as treatment for obesity in childhood remains largely ineffective: 5-10 % weight loss within 2 years rarely results in significant durable success. In adults, bariatric surgery is being used increasingly as an effective approach to achieve weight loss and to improve serious medical comorbidities, in particular T2DM. Enhancement of quality of life and explicit extension of survival are concomitant phenomenons. To date, a range of different types of bariatric procedures has been performed in adolescents, but studies evaluating and analysing preoperative data, postoperative course and follow-up in a representative number of patients younger than 18 years are still lacking. Nevertheless, current experience suggests significant weight loss and improving obesity-related medical comorbidities after bariatric surgery in adolescents too. Moreover, bariatric surgery in adolescents seems to induce less complications and a shorter hospital stay than in adults. Al-though surgical therapy for obesity in this group of patients remains an individual decision, even though explicit guidelines have been published specifying inclusion and exclusion criterias. Analysis of our own patient group and results of the study of the quality assurance "surgical treatment of morbid obesity" are appropriate tools to evaluate surgical techniques and to provide long-term follow-up.

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