Teenage life is the most exciting stage in every person’s life. We experience a lot of changes when we reach this stage; from physical change, psychological and even emotional change. This is the period when we love experimenting, discovering and exploring life sometimes without regard for the consequences.
Related: Causes of Obesity
Dealing with obesity within the teenage population is quite complicated. It is not just about changing your eating habits and choosing the right food to eat. Obesity is something that must be taken seriously. Research indicates that adolescents represent 1/5 of the world’s population and together with the increasing number of the world’s population is the occurrence of teenage obesity. It is considered as one of the most common problems in the US and other developed countries and has already reached alarming levels. Weight can be a real problem within the teenage population; because of this, they are more likely to feel isolated for fear of being criticized or bullied. The result is teens become depressed and the tendency to hate or dislike themselves is higher.
Obesity is not just as simple as being overweight since the latter can be treated by having a healthy diet and exercise. Obesity is not an ordinary health problem; it is a medical condition in which excess body fats have been accumulated and may bring health risks. There are several factors that make a person obese; such as little physical activity, hormonal changes, America’s penchant for large portions of fast foods and metabolic disorder.
While there are many weight loss programs available to choose from, one of the most common or most recommended treatments for obesity, aside from diet and exercise, is weight loss surgery or also known as the Bariatric surgery. But the question is, is it right for obese teenagers to undergo this kind of surgery? Or the most important issue is, is it safe?
Based on research, teen weight loss surgery has been found to be safe; as safe as adult weight loss surgery. But despite the fact that weight loss surgery for teens is considered safe, there are still risks that must be taken into consideration.
Bariatric surgery includes different procedures performed on obese people. There are three types of weight loss that can be performed on teens:
- Gastric Bypass surgery– It is a process wherein the surgeon creates a small pouch by stapling off a large portion of the stomach and connects the tiny pouch directly to the small intestine. This makes the stomach hold less food and creates malabsorption of nutrients which results in weight loss from both restriction and malabsorption.
- Gastric Banding– reduces the size of the stomach by using a restrictive device to create a small pouch, but banding does not interfere with food absorption in the small intestine.
- Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy– removes ¾ of the stomach laparoscopically resulting in weight loss from the tiny portions but no malabsorption.
A teen candidate for weight loss surgery must also be prepared physically and emotionally and have enough support from parents. Weight loss surgery is only a tool and the teen must be ready and committed to keeping up with the new lifestyle right after surgery.
Just like any other surgery, weight loss surgery also has its risks; like occasional discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea; especially when the patient has eaten too much or too fast. Teen patients who have undergone weight loss surgery have to start again with a new eating approach. It will entail many adjustments and lifestyle changes which may take time to adjust to.
Most importantly is that with weight loss surgery or Bariatric surgery, an obese teen will have the opportunity to establish a more balanced relationship with food and exercise. The teen may enjoy life once again with heightened confidence and self-esteem and end their struggle with obesity forever.
Bariatric surgery is the best way to deal with obesity; along with proper diet and exercise and, of course, positive disposition. Every single penny, the discomfort, and effort are all worth it.