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Health Information For Teens
Sometimes, being overweight can lead to serious health problems. People who are 100 or more pounds over their ideal body weight are more likely to develop medical problems. These problems include diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, liver disease, and joint problems.
Weight loss surgery (also called bariatric surgery) can help very overweight people who have tried but failed to lose weight and face serious medical problems. But it’s not a quick fix. People need to put in a lot of hard work before and after the operation.
The two main kinds of surgery for weight loss in teens are gastric sleeve and gastric bypass.
Gastric sleeve (also called sleeve gastrectomy) is the most common weight loss procedure. With this operation, the surgeon removes part of the stomach and makes a tube or “sleeve” out of the rest of the stomach. The new, banana-shaped stomach is much smaller than the original stomach.
After the operation, a person will eat less, feel full sooner, and be less hungry. Part of the stomach that’s removed makes hormones that increase appetite and help control insulin. So, a person’s appetite decreases and insulin resistance improves after gastric sleeve surgery.
The gastric sleeve procedure is not reversible.
In a gastric bypass (also called “Roux-en-Y” gastric bypass), a surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach. This pouch becomes the new stomach. Surgeons then connect the pouch to the middle part of the small intestine, bypassing the upper part of the small intestine.
After the surgery, the stomach pouch holds a lot less food than a normal-sized stomach. A person will eat less, feel full sooner, and be less hungry. And fewer calories and nutrients are absorbed because the small intestine is shorter.
People who get gastric bypass tend to lose more weight than people who get the gastric sleeve, but there can be more problems too. The gastric bypass procedure is not reversible.
Like any operation, weight loss surgery has risks:
In rare cases, some people have serious problems after weight loss surgery, such as:
Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, are a concern before and after surgery. Most people feel better about themselves after weight loss surgery, but some may continue to struggle. Teens who do should reach out to a mental health professional and get help if they feel overwhelmed or sad, or have other emotional concerns.
Weight loss surgery is no magic fix. But the hard work may be worth it for people who are very overweight and have serious health problems because of their weight.
If you’re worried about your weight or are thinking about weight loss surgery, talk to your doctor.
Doctors may do weight loss surgery if someone who is very overweight has tried but failed to lose weight and faces serious medical problems. Find out what makes teens eligible for bariatric surgery.
A couple of pounds of extra body fat are not a health risk for most people. But when people are severely overweight, it can cause health problems.
Knowing what to expect with surgery before you get to the hospital can make you less anxious about your surgical experience – and less stress helps a person recover faster.
If a person is struggling with extra weight, it can add to the emotional ups and downs of being a teen. Get some tips on coping here.
Metabolic syndrome is a signal that someone could be on the road to serious health problems. Find out more in this article for teens.
One of the biggest questions guys and girls have as they grow and develop is whether they’re the right weight. One place to start is by learning about body mass index, or BMI.
We use the words “oveweight” and “obese” a lot, but they actually have medical meanings. Find out how doctors diagnose these conditions and what they mean for a person’s health.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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