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Is There A Surgery For Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity can be remedied at home by following the advice of dietician or pediatrician and with the proper follow up. Medical treatment is also available and is started only when the physical activities and other treatment modalities fail. Sometimes even with rigorous medical treatment and follow-up up obesity is not reduced. Sometimes there are contraindications for a medical form of treatment due to metabolic hindrance or any other reason, only then the surgical treatment is advised. But there is surgical treatment available for childhood obesity.

Is There A Surgery For Childhood Obesity?

Is There A Surgery For Childhood Obesity?

Surgeries are usually not advised in the age of childhood and are usually carried out in adolescence or later period when there is confirmation of the failure of the other modes of treatment in childhood obesity. Surgery can be done for weight loss as well as to lower the appetite. Body mass index is an important factor in deciding whether the surgery is required or not and if required then which surgery has to be done.

The most common surgery known as roux en y is done for the treatment of obesity. Various other surgeries like biliopancreatic division, biliopancreatic division with duodenal switch, sleeve gastrectomy, band ligation, primary obesity surgery endoluminal[1] etc. are the other options for obesity but these surgeries are more preferred in adult and older age groups and are not suitable for childhood obesity treatment. These are done only last measure to counter the morbid obesity with body mass index greater than 40. These are also associated with higher side effects and post-surgical complications. Some of these a because of the lower compliance of such patients with the routine like band ligation.

In roux en y surgery, the stomach is sectioned into a small pouch and ligated. The rest of the stomach continues with duodenum and there is no mobilization done of the stomach. The jejunum is cut after leaving a 100 to 150 cm of small intestine proximal to it. The rest of the jejunum is connected with the stomach pouch made at the proximal end of the stomach. The proximal small intestine is anastomosed in the jejunum by creating a stoma in it. The ligated limbs look like Y hence the name of the surgery.[2] It has a very high success rate and weight loss is about 60% of the morbid obesity. It is usually done the patients who have a BMI of greater than 35. The disadvantage is that there is extensive workup required to qualify for the surgery. It helps to fight morbid obesity and improve the quality of life of the patient suffering from obesity. The age to perform this surgery is not specific but in patients of childhood obesity, it has to be performed earlier than normal individuals.

Surgical treatment has almost a hundred percent success rate in childhood obesity but there are many disadvantages associated with it and is not a commonly used form of treatment in this condition. Post-surgical complications have to be kept in mind because the patient of childhood obesity is usually treated in adolescence and has the whole life ahead to deal with these complications which can be really tough for the individual.


Although childhood obesity is a common problem among the children of the US and is easily treatable with a simple form of treatment and routine pattern but due to noncompliance and lethargic attitude it usually fails. Medical form of treatment can also successfully lead to remission of childhood obesity but it requires the company of physical exercise as well. Due to the non-sticking of the parents and children to the schedule, such children can require surgical treatment until the age of reaching adolescence. It can be suggested to the appropriate cases with a proper checkup of the patient. Like every surgery, it also comes with various disadvantages and is also costly but it can effectively treat childhood obesity.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 19, 2022

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