Delaware Hospital Reports Great Success with Teenage Lap Band
Weight loss surgeons at DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, are reporting dramatic successes treating obese teenagers with bariatric surgeries such as the Lap Band procedure. Patients have lost up to 170 pounds after having the procedure as teens.
Though not approved for general use by patients under the age of 18, the Delaware hospital received a special exception from the FDA in order to test the viability of the procedure for teens. They were thus able to provide the surgery to patients who would otherwise need to wait for many years before receiving treatment.
Dramatic Results from the LapBand Procedure in Teens
Though some question the necessity of teenage bariatric surgeries, weight-loss surgeon Kirk Reichard, who worked with the Delaware hospital patients, profoundly disagrees. “These kids as a group have about the same quality of life as a child with cancer, so it’s a really serious disease,” he said. “They come to us pretty desperate, they are out of other options.”
The hospital’s program only accepts patients who are 100 pounds or more above their ideal weight, and many of these teens have lost much more weight than that. According to Dr. Reichard, “A lot of pediatricians believe this is what you would call preventive surgery, that these children aren’t really sick yet and why don’t we wait until they are older and start manifesting the diseases.” In response to these opinions, surgeons say that preventing these conditions is far better for the long term health of the patient than treating them once they develop.
In addition, teens who enter the Delaware program treat their obesity on several levels, working with nutritionists, experts in exercise programs and personal weight loss counselors. Bariatric surgery makes up an essential part of this greater weight loss treatment plan for those with severe obesity.
Photo by FBellon on Flickr.