We Offer Bariatric Surgery for Adolescents to Improve Your Child’s Health
Obesity affects patients of all ages, and younger sufferers will most likely continue to face issues with their weight and related conditions for the rest of their lives. These far-reaching struggles can impact your child's overall quality of life through physical and emotional concerns. Bariatric surgery for adolescents at our hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, can be a safe and effective weight loss solution for children and teens with severe obesity who have not had success with other weight loss methods. Dr. Liza María Pompa González and her team are very experienced in treating adolescents and will coordinate with your child's pediatrician to develop a suitable treatment plan.
Physical Health Problems
If left untreated, the health risks associated with childhood obesity can carry into adulthood and become more severe over time. These risks can include:
- Diabetes: The biggest risk associated with childhood obesity is type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes typically does not develop until much later in life, but childhood obesity can cause it to develop earlier and can increase your child’s risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and liver disease.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This condition affects nearly a quarter of children with obesity. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue and changes in mood and can make concentration difficult.
- Liver issues: Fatty liver disease affects nearly 80 percent of children with obesity. If left untreated, it can lead to fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver.
- Skull pressure: Extra weight and related issues can lead to increased pressure on the skull, or pseudotumor cerebri. This development can cause headaches, changes in vision or hearing, nausea, and vomiting.
- Heart disease: Adolescents with obesity are at a greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
- Hypertension: Overweight children and teenagers can face elevated blood pressure, also known as hypertension. As they age, this condition can lead to an increased risk of organ damage, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
Bariatric surgery can reduce many of these risks, even leading to complete remission of issues such as type 2 diabetes.
Emotional Health Problems
Obesity can have a negative impact on your child’s quality of life as your child may become unwilling or unable to participate in various activities, and may suffer lowered self-esteem or harassment because of their weight. Obese adolescents are also at a greater risk for depression. In addition, it is common for young women and teenage girls to develop eating disorders along with their obesity. Bariatric surgery is not a cure for these issues, but when combined with the proper treatment, can improve your child’s self-image and reduce the risk of developing future emotional and behavioral issues.
Candidates for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery may be recommended for patients under the age of 18 with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher and who have severe weight-related health problems, or patients with a BMI over 40 with less severe health conditions. Surgery is typically only recommended in cases where the procedure poses less risk to the patient than the risks of obesity-related medical conditions. Patients who undergo these procedures have typically been unsuccessful with other weight loss methods. This form of treatment is not always covered by insurance for patients under 18, so you may want to contact your insurance company to find out which specific procedures, if any, are covered.
Benefits of Adolescent Bariatric Surgery
When left untreated, childhood obesity often continues into adulthood, accompanied by more severe health conditions and greater risk for additional issues, and even death. Bariatric surgery can reduce any current physical health problems your child is currently facing and can lower the risk of serious physical and emotional health issues in the future. Our specially designed bariatric program includes teaching patients about proper nutrition and exercise before and after bariatric surgery. With our expert treatment, your child's quality of life can improve dramatically and can be maintained throughout their adult life as well.
Protect Your Child's Health
Obesity can significantly impact your child's life for years to come. If your child is suffering from obesity and you are considering weight loss surgery, contact us today to schedule a consultation.