The selection criteria, safety, and efficacy of bariatric surgery are well established in adults but are less well defined for severely obese adolescents. The number of severely obese adolescents who could benefit from weight loss surgery is increasing, although referral rates have plateaued. Surgical options for these adolescents are controversial and raise several questions. Recent studies, including the prospective Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery Study and the Adolescent Morbid Obesity Surgery Study, help answer these questions. Early bariatric surgical intervention improves body mass index but, more importantly, improves cardiovascular and metabolic co-morbidities of severe obesity. A review of the medical, psychosocial, and economic risks and benefits of bariatric surgery in severely obese adolescents is a step toward improving the management of a challenging and increasing population. We describe the current knowledge of eligibility criteria, preoperative evaluation, surgical options, outcomes, and referral barriers of adolescents for bariatric surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health