Weight Loss Surgery for Teens: April 16, 2011

As teenage waistlines expand, the inquires into weight loss surgery grow. "Actually, the National Institutes of health and the FDA is looking at bringing the age requirement down to potentially 14. Wow. But you know? Our obesity rate in the United States for our adolescents is climbing faster, doubling the amount than our adult population," says Lee Memorial Health System bariatric surgeon, Dr. Moses Shieh.

New research finds that overweight teens tend to carry that extra weight into their adulthood. In fact, a recent study looked at a group of teens and found that they had gone from obese to severely obese in their early 20s, putting them more at risk of diabetes, heart disease, even stroke before they even reach 30. "You'll be surprised that you are going to be hearing more and more of adolescent bariatric surgery. It's not what we want to hear in the public but it's a modality of a treatment."

Dr. Moses Shieh is the Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery. "We've already done a 16 year old as well. Mother and father have taken the child to every single specialist. Very motivated child. We did her procedure and she's lost 60 pounds. Her attitude and life have changed. She sees her future. Before, she was already seeing problems with her own health as opposed to now she's seeing her future."

Dr. Shieh says weight loss surgery isn't something that should be taken lightly. When evaluating candidates, he considers not just the physical but mental health of each patient, especially teens. To learn more, you can call the weight loss program at 239-343-9966.