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Bariatric Surgery

“This is not a cosmetic surgery. This is a life-changing surgery.”
– Robert Cusick, MD, pediatric surgeon

BARIATRIC SURGERY FOR ADOLESCENTS
So severely obese children can gain confidence, hope and a healthier outlook on life – we are committed to helping them lose weight. Multi-disciplinary and family-centered, our team starts by focusing on diet, exercise and behavioral changes. If those methods fail, we move the discussion to bariatric surgery, a weight loss tool that alters the digestive system to either restrict how much food a patient can eat or reduce how many nutrients his or her body can absorb.
 
Bariatric surgery is not a cure by itself. In conjunction with diet and exercise, the goal is a happy, healthy future – and a “today” without obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and obstructive sleep apnea.

HOW DO I KNOW IF SURGERY IS RIGHT FOR MY CHILD?
Candidates for the bariatric surgery at Children’s must have a BMI of at least 40 or a BMI of 35 with another significant co-morbidity (diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, lipid disorders, pulmonary hypertension, fatty liver disease).
  
Other qualifications for bariatric surgery:
• Involvement with the HEROES clinic for at least six months
• Inability to lose weight despite eating healthier, increasing your exercise and increasing your healthy behaviors
• Completion of bone growth - It is not recommended for adolescents or teens to have bariatric surgery if they are still growing because surgery could prevent your body from getting all the nutrients it needs to grow.
• Stable psychological status
• Good family support  - We encourage the entire family to work together at eating healthy before and after surgery.
• Insurance coverage for surgery

Compliance is also key. It proves to the HEROES team that you are ready and motivated to have surgery and that you can handle necessary diet changes after surgery.  Compliance means:
• Coming to all your scheduled HEROES appointments and referral appointments
• Consistent and timely communication with the HEROES team
• Taking your medications as prescribed
• Continuing to follow the HEROES team’s recommendations for healthy eating and exercise
• Avoiding any tobacco, drug, or alcohol use

If you think your child is a candidate for bariatric surgery, we’d love to meet with your family and start the discussion.