Connecticut Children’s Live-Tweeting Gastric Sleeve Procedure to Highlight Bariatric Surgery

02-10-15-1Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. When medical management is not effective, surgical options are considered for weight loss, even in adolescents.

Each year, 400-800 children/year are referred to Connecticut Children’s for treatment of obesity. In 2014, 28 families sought surgical intervention. To be considered for surgical management for obesity, need BMI>45 and significant medical comorbidities. Patients and families undergo 6 months of intensive screening prior to surgery. During this evaluation, children need to adhere to diet & commit to lifestyle changes. Only after adhering to this medical approach to weight loss are adolescents considered for surgery.

Traditional surgical approaches to weight loss include Gastric Bypass and Lap Bands. Gastric Sleeve is a new technique though that is thought to be safer than Gastric Bypass & more effective than Lap Bands. Gastric Sleeve involves removing part of the stomach and creating a tube or “sleeve” shaped stomach. The effect of this surgery is to make you feel full more quickly and therefore helps with weight loss. Unlike the Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve doesn’t cause malabsorption. And unlike the Lap Band, the Gastric Sleeve doesn’t need to be filled every 3-4 months and is not reversible. Connecticut Children’s is only hospital in the state offering Gastric Sleeve procedure for adolescents.

This Thursday, we’ll be live-tweeting a Gastric Sleeve procedure performed by Dr. Meghna Misra & Dr. Christine Finck. Follow #CTChildrensSurgery on Twitter for updates!

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