Teen Weight Loss Surgery Is Becoming More and More Common

Published:October 2nd, 2010

A report published on Monday, September 20, 2010, revealed weight loss surgery although unapproved is becoming more and more common among teenagers in California. Gastric banding rose five times between 2005 and 2007 while gastric bypass dropped, so overall rate of weight loss procedures remained constant.

Gastric banding involves a silicone band placed around the top portion of the stomach in order to restrict food intake. Gastric bypass is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of the stomach. FDA has not approved such procedures for teenagers younger than 18, however gastric banding has become the most frequently performed weight loss procedure with this age group.

A British study revealed that such procedures have increased ten fold since 2000. Patients who had had gastric banding had a lower death rate than patients who underwent bypass surgery. However, most experts are skeptical about gastric banding.

I think there’s a fundamental problem with putting a rigid plastic object around a moving organ. You’re asking it to stay in place and not erode over a long period of time, said Dr. Mary Brandt, director of pediatric surgical program at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

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