In life-threatening emergencies, find the emergency room location nearest you. For non-life-threatening medical needs when your pediatrician is unavailable, visit one of our convenient urgent care locations.
It can be concerning to have a severely obese teen who has trouble losing weight. Severe obesity affects your teen both emotionally and physically. One family shares how severe obesity has affected their life and how they made the decision to move forward with bariatric surgery.
Facts about severe obesity
Severely obese teens tend to have other health conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and bone and joint problems. Obese teens are also more likely to become obese adults with an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Because of the complexity of these associated conditions and potential risks, we use a multidisciplinary approach to treat obesity – so that we can address all aspects of your teen's health.
Research has shown that bariatric surgery may help to reverse certain obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, prediabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It can also have a positive impact on weight-related quality of life.
To be a candidate for bariatric surgery, your teen must meet the following criteria:
Severe obesity: Body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 kg/m2 or 120% on the growth chart with major obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, severe obstructive sleep apnea or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Severe obesity: BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 or 140% on the growth chart with other obesity-related health conditions such as milder obstructive sleep apnea, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), high cholesterol, high blood pressure or joint/back pain
Willingness to complete the medical work-up and other requirements before and after surgery
Ability to understand surgery and care required after surgery
Willingness to understand and adhere to nutritional guidelines after surgery
What changes does my teen need to make before and after bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is an effective tool that can help your teen lose weight. But, it can only be successful if your teen commits to following the bariatric team's recommendations before surgery, after surgery and beyond. Here is what your teen can expect at Children's Colorado if they go through the bariatric surgery process.
1.Before bariatric surgery
Initial visit: medical, surgical, psychological and nutrition evaluations
Monthly medically managed weight loss visits
2.During bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery lasts between two to four hours, depending on the type of bariatric surgery performed
One- to three-day hospital stay
3.After bariatric surgery
Two-week recovery at home
Transition of diet stages: liquid diet with protein to regular diet
Vitamins and supplements for life
Regular follow-up visits
Regular physical activity
Healthy eating for life
Find a doctor
Connect with our world-class bariatric surgeon and multidisciplinary team at Children's Colorado.