9 February 2015
A new study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, found that bariatric surgery can help certain children and teenagers as a last resort.
The research revealed that it can improve liver disease and other obesity-related health problems in severely obese children and adolescents. However, because of the risk of serious complications, it is only recommended in special circumstances when children have severe or morbid obesity and associated medical conditions.
Although the best option for obese young people is a change of lifestyle and diet, the results can often be disappointing, leading to a growing interest in bariatric surgery for children and teenagers.
"Recent evidence suggests that in carefully selected patients an early intervention by bariatric surgery can strongly reduce the risk of adulthood obesity and obesity-related diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)," Professor Valerio Nobili of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, and colleagues write.
The ESPGHAN Hepatology Committee states that bariatric surgery should be limited to two groups of paediatric patients: those with body mass index of 40 or higher with severe obesity-related medical conditions; and those with body mass index 50 or higher and mild medical conditions.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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