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- A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (see BMI Calculator to find your BMI)
- A BMI between 35 and 39.9 and a serious, obesity-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or severe sleep apnea (see Health Effects of Obesity)
- An understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes (including diet and exercise) you will need to make.
Surgery for Obese AdolescentsWith childhood obesity on the rise, bariatric surgery is sometimes considered a treatment option for adolescents who are severely overweight. However, there are many concerns about the long-term effects of this type of operation on adolescents' developing bodies and minds.
Experts in pediatric overweight and bariatric surgery recommend that surgical treatment only be considered when adolescents have tried for at least six months to lose weight and have not been successful. Candidates should be severely overweight (BMI of 40 or more), have reached their adult height (usually 13 or older for girls, 15 or older for boys), and have serious weight-related health problems (such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease).
In addition, potential patients and their parents should be evaluated to see how emotionally prepared they are for the operation and the lifestyle changes they will need to make. Patients should also be referred to a team of experts in adolescent medicine and bariatric surgery who are qualified to meet their unique needs.