Health Watch - A New Body: Surgery for Teens

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about what it takes to get a new body. Previously, we discussed how to get good results with weight-loss surgery. Can this same surgery help obese teens?

The rising teen obesity rate is a serious public health concern. Dr. Edward Livingston, chief of gastrointestinal surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s important to treat obesity in teens because it can lead to health problems like diabetes and heart disease. The question is whether surgery is appropriate for treating obesity in younger patients. The laparoscopic gastric banding procedure may be a better option for teens because it’s reversible and has fewer complications.

Research has found that teens who had the surgery were more likely to lose more weight and have improvements in related health problems than those just on a diet, but they were also more likely to have complications, and the complication rate makes doctors question whether the risks are worth the benefits.


March 2011

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