Written by Emel Gerdaneri.
What Age Can Gastric Bypass Surgery Be Performed?
The increase in excessive weight and obesity has become a significant health issue for many countries. Recent data proves that the obesity pandemic affects all age groups.
Following our recent article titled "At 13, He Weighed 200 Kilograms and Underwent Gastric Bypass Surgery," we had questions about the relationship between age and obesity surgery, which we asked General Surgeon Gürdal Ören MD:
So, At What Age Can Obesity Surgery Be Performed Which Helps with Weight Loss?
"First of all, I would like to say this... Whether young or at more advanced ages, in most cases, conservative methods such as diet changes, increased physical activity, and medication treatment are insufficient to reduce excessive body mass significantly.
As a result, metabolic and bariatric surgery is gaining unquestionable popularity as a method of obesity treatment.
Bariatric procedures not only reduce the number of morbidly obese patients but also significantly improve their quality of life.
Obesity in Children Is a Serious Health Problem
Obesity in children is a severe health problem that can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and an increased likelihood of abnormal glucose levels in later life as children progress into adulthood.
In addition to health conditions, overweight children may face other challenges, such as depression, low self-esteem, and low grades in school.
Despite ongoing debates about whether obese children should undergo weight loss surgery, many successful surgical operations have been performed to mitigate the effects of obesity in children.
However, many people still have concerns about the minimum age requirements for Gastric Bypass surgery.
Minimum Age Requirements for Bariatric Surgery
Determining whether a child or adolescent is ready is a significant decision. The opinions of the patient, the doctor, the family, psychologists, dietitians, and exercise specialists must all be considered.
I can summarize it as follows:
Those with serious medical problems caused by excessive weight,
Those with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher,
Most importantly, adolescents who have reached the age of 14, especially if they have passed through adolescence,
maybe allowed to undergo surgery.
Determining whether a young person is healthy enough for weight loss surgery is also crucial. Before surgery, patients work with exercise specialists and dietitians in the months leading up to the surgery to improve their health.
This is done to make weight loss surgery more effective and safer for the patient.
The Child Should Be Informed and Educated
The patient should be aware of what is happening before entering bariatric surgery.
They must consent to the requirements of the procedure and the recommendations made by the doctor regarding the type of exercise and diet to follow post-surgery.
The actual surgery is just the first step in the weight loss journey.
In summary, what happens after surgery is more important than the surgery itself.
Emotionally Mature for Surgery?
Patients who undergo weight loss surgery may have to deal with pain, health complications, and long recovery periods.
A young person who wants to have obesity surgery must be emotionally prepared to accept everything that comes with undergoing a surgical procedure.
If a patient is afraid or not ready for surgery, we may suggest less invasive alternative options.
They Must Accept New Lifestyle Changes
Knowing whether a young patient is willing to adapt to a new diet and lifestyle changes after surgery is essential.
Patients who have undergone obesity surgery should never revert to their old lifestyles.
They may need to exercise daily, follow a healthy diet plan, take mineral and vitamin supplements, and attend all medical appointments.
If a young patient is willing to do these things, more than surgery is required in their weight loss journey.
Family Support Is Essential
Adapting to a new eating pattern, daily exercise, and regular doctor appointments can be challenging, and sticking to recent lifestyle changes without assistance is tricky.
A young patient undergoing obesity surgery should have family members ready to support them through tough times.
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Written on 25/11/2021
Last Update: 28/09/2023