Health Obesity In Teens - A New Study To Assess The Advisability Of Bariatric Surgery

by Donald Saunders - Date: 2007-04-27 - Word Count: 425 Share This!

The number of bariatric surgeries performed for obesity in teens has risen markedly in recent years but still represents only a fraction of the total number of weight loss surgeries carried out each year.

While surgeons are increasingly coming to the conclusion that many obese teenagers will ultimately require surgery, and that this is perhaps best performed sooner rather than later, there are nonetheless concerns about the safety of bariatric surgery in adolescents and about the longer-term effects of performing surgery at such an early age.

In 2003 a study known as LABS (Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery) was launched to look at the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery in extremely obese adults and, since its inception, some 4,000 patients have been enrolled in a series of both short-term and long-term studies. No results have yet been released as the study is still ongoing and it is expected to continue through 2007 and into 2008.

As an extension of this study a new study has now been launched, known as Teen-LABS, which will examine the benefits in risks of bariatric surgery in teenagers between the ages of 14 and 19. The study may also look at younger patients if they are considered to meet the strict criteria laid down for the study.

Teen-LABS will study adolescent patients being treated at hospitals in Birmingham, Cincinnati, Houston and Pittsburgh and is expected to enroll a total of about 200 patients over the next 5 years.

The aim of the study will be to assess the benefits and risks by comparing the data collected from the 200 teenagers in the study group with that of 200 adult bariatric patients who have suffered obesity since their teen years. In other words, it will compare the outcome of carrying out surgery in the teenage years to that of waiting until patients reach maturity before performing surgery.

The study will look at a very wide variety of data collected pre-operatively and in the two years following surgery including not simply weight but also such things as body fat, indications of diabetes, episodes of sleep apnea, depression, eating habits, nutrition, the quality of life and much more.

Although we will clearly have to wait some time before the results of the study are published and clinical decisions can be made based upon them, this is nevertheless a step in the right direction in tackling a growing problem. provides information on all aspects of gastric bypass surgery including the problem of obesity in teens and includes several child obesity articles.

Related Tags: child obesity, teenage obesity, adolescent obesity, obesity in teens, obesity in adolescents

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