Children and adolescents who suffer from severe obesity need the entire spectrum of treatment modalities available to achieve a healthy body weight and control obesity-related complications. For some children, this treatment spectrum might include bariatric surgery.
Experts in the field of obesity medicine published their thoughts on this topic in a roundtable discussion published in Obesity Pillars, the official journal of the Obesity Medicine Association.
“Children with obesity should be cared for by a pediatric weight management team prepared to care for them until they transition to adult care,” said Dr. Suzanne Cuda MD, (Moderator of the roundtable discussion, Executive Editor of Obesity Pillars, and physician at the Alamo City Healthy Kids & Families, San Antonio, TX). “Using a patient-centered approach, among the treatment options for the disease of obesity in some children includes bariatric surgery.” said Dr. Cuda.
Among the topics discussed in this roundtable of potential bariatric surgery in children with obesity include: (1) medical criteria for bariatric surgery; (2) quality of life criteria; (3) mental health criteria; (4) diagnostic criteria (e.g., eating disorders); (5) family dynamics and decision-making; (6) best age for bariatric surgery; (7) consenting process; and (8) most common types of bariatric surgery in children. “Obesity is a disease best managed with comprehensive care including nutrition, physical activity, medication, behavioral training, and if appropriate, bariatric surgery which are often best employed together,” said Dr. Cuda.
Suzanne E. Cuda, Janey S.A. Pratt, Melissa Santos, Allen Browne, Obesity Pillars roundtable: Metabolic and bariatric surgery in children and adolescents, Obesity Pillars, Volume 3, 2022, 100023, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obpill.2022.100023