In the age of technology and development, the
national boundaries have blurred and the horizons have widened, bringing us
closer to a whole new world of amazing gadgets and medical innovations. Healthcare
and medicine have made equal progress and have resulted in the development of
amazing new drugs, surgical procedures and clinical trials.
The gastric bypass surgery for adolescents is
one such amazing development aiming to reduce morbid obesity among adolescents.
The introduction of this surgical procedure may give rise to a whole new
treatment method, which in the future may help millions treat obesity and
related issues. Let us have a closer look at the how's and what's of this
obesity treatments for children and adolescents lie solely on behavioral and
non-surgical therapies, adults suffering from obesity can benefit by turning to
bariatric surgery. It is a surgical procedure that reduces mortality rates,
induces long-term weight loss and improves overall quality of life. Due to lack
of effective treatment for obesity among children, an increase in psychosocial
problems, mental illnesses, cancer, cardiovascular ailments and metabolic and
endocrine disorders have been noted.
The bariatric surgery was not formerly allowed
to be carried out in individuals less than 18 years of age. However, a recent
well-designed trial may prove to be the emergence of a whole new concept in
obesity treatment among teens. The trial conducted by Torsten Olbers and his colleagues and published
in the International Journal of Obesity involved the randomization of
gastric bypass surgery with normal lifestyle intervention to demonstrate the
efficacy of the surgery over the convention treatment.
Eighty oneadolescents, selected from the Swedish Childhood Obesity Treatment
and in the age range of 13
to 18 years, were admitted as subjects for this Swedish trial and were
made to undergo conservative treatments including family and/or personal
counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and dietary changes. Low calorie diets
and drugs like metformin and sibutramin were prescribed regularly. After 1 year
of following this comprehensive treatment, the subjects were made to undergo
gastric bypass surgery as a part of the clinical trial.
gastric bypass surgery, the subjects were made to follow a low calorie
diet for at least 3 weeks before the surgery, after which they were operated
upon by experienced surgeons. Proper post-operative care was given.
the 12 subjects that
required additional surgical interventions, 5 patients needed to undergo
an operation for internal hernia, five required cholecystectomy and four were
made to rush to the emergency room due to non-specific abdominal pain.
Persistent anxiety and depression, self-harm behavior, unplanned pregnancies
and suicide attempts were also observed after the surgery.
follow-up, the surgical patients were assessed 1 month prior to the surgery,
and 2, 3,6,12 and 24 months post surgery. Body weight, height, biochemical
analysis and blood pressure were kept under check. Multivitamin and mineral
supplements were added to their daily diets. Regular visits to health centers
and pediatricians were carried out as part of the trial.
to conventional treatments:
Where conventional treatments for obesity in
adolescents demonstrated poor outcomes, gastric bypass surgery showed a
substantial weight decrease of 32
percent over two
years following the surgery.
the surgery did show prevalence of psychosocial problems and mental illnesses,
obese adolescents free from these mental illnesses may actually benefit a lot
by undergoing this surgery compared to the conventional treatment.
Reference: Olbers T., et al. Two-year outcome of
laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in adolescents with severe obesity:
results from a Swedish Nationwide Study (AMOS). International Journal of
Obesity advance online publication, September 25 2012. doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.160