Questions remain on bariatric surgery for adolescents

Feb 09, 2010

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery can effectively treat obesity in adolescents and seems to offer a better alternative than gastric bypass surgery, but further study is needed to determine whether it's better than nonsurgical options, a UT Southwestern Medical Center surgeon writes in an editorial in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The latest research helps us define which surgical procedure may be preferable, but we are still a long way from settling the question of whether should be used to treat obesity in teens," said Dr. Edward Livingston, chief of GI/endocrine surgery at UT Southwestern. The editorial accompanies a research study by Australian physicians examining weight-loss surgery among .

Treatment of obesity in adolescents should be a priority because obesity portends other diseases, such as cardiac problems, hypertension and diabetes, later in life, said Dr. Livingston, director of UT Southwestern's Clinical Center for the Surgical Management of Obesity.

Many physicians are reluctant to recommend weight-loss surgery as an treatment for adolescents due to lack of research and data showing its effectiveness, Dr. Livingston said, so the latest contribution to the medical literature is a welcome addition.

While gastric bypass surgery permanently alters the stomach, laparoscopic adjustable can be reversed and has fewer complications, making it a better fit for the still-growing adolescent population, noted Dr. Livingston.

Australian researchers compared gastric banding surgery to medically supervised diets among 50 randomly assigned obese adolescents. The Australian data showed greater weight loss among patients receiving the bands, but complication rates raised questions about whether it was worth the benefit, Dr. Livingston said. In addition, the researchers found that while medical interventions successfully controlled many of the problematic disease complications without surgery, improvements were greater with surgery, he said.

Explore further: FTC clears Sun Pharma's $4B purchase of competitor Ranbaxy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study Puts Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes to the Test

Dec 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A multi-disciplinary team of Penn researchers, including diabetes, weight loss and bariatric surgery experts, are conducting a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine if bariatric ...

Recommended for you

Why aren't there any human doctors in Star Wars?

17 hours ago

Though set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it isn't hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health ...

Cambodia bans 'virgin surgery' adverts

Jan 29, 2015

The Cambodian government has ordered a hospital to stop advertising so-called virginity restoration procedures, saying it harms the "morality" of society.

What's happening with your donated specimen?

Jan 28, 2015

When donating blood, plasma, human tissue or any other bodily sample for medical research, most people might not think about how it's being used. But if you were told, would you care?

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.