Can teens have weight loss surgery?

Michael G. Scheidler, MD
Pediatric Surgery
Adolescents are candidates for weight loss surgery if they have a BMI over 35 or 40, along with other comorbidities, and are emotionally mature. Learn more about the procedure from Michael Scheidler, MD, with Sunrise Children's Hospital.
Teens are highly motivated and generally have great success with weight loss surgery. In this video, surgeon Tiffany Jessee, DO, of Largo Medical Center, explains why adolescents have good outcomes with bariatric surgery.
Every program is different. There are some centers accredited to operate on teens and even younger children. Most teens wait until age 18 for the surgery. Studies show that weight loss surgery can be very effective for teens who have significant health problems.
When other weight-loss strategies have failed, some families select weight-loss surgery for their teen. The Weight-loss Surgery Program at South Miami Hospital has developed a treatment plan just for adolescents, ages 14-21. To qualify for weight-loss surgery, a teen must have developed to the point of “bone maturity,” which means that the kid is fully grown as determined by a doctor. Before the surgery, the teen must also participate in a three-month, age-appropriate exercise program to prepare for the weight-loss surgery. What’s more, the teen and family must undergo a psychological evaluation, which is designed to verify that the teen will be compliant and the family will be supportive of the post-surgery regimen, which includes a routine of exercise, nutrition and vitamins. The teen and the parents work closely with a bariatric nurse coordinator, bariatric surgeon, a specialized dietitian, weight-loss coach, exercise physiologist and bariatric patient navigator.

Continue Learning about Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

Weight Loss Procedures and Surgeries

Weight loss surgery procedures, including liposuction, gastric bypass, gastric botox and Lap Band surgery are viable options for those needing help with excessive weight loss. But they aren't without their risks. Weight loss surge...

ry procedures should only be performed on individuals for whom regular diet, exercise and medication didn't prove effective. Check out the answers below for more information on how weight loss surgery has advanced over time and which one might be best for you.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.