Weight Loss Surgery For Children Now Being Performed In The U.K. As A “Last Resort”

Weight loss surgery is now being offered to obese children in the UK as a “last resort” when all other attempts to lose weight have failed. Bariatric surgery for children has been available for some time in the US and Australia, but has only recently been provided in the U.K.

Requirements for children

The bariatric surgeons who perform this operation have stressed that in order to be considered as candidates for the surgery, children must be able to understand the process including the potential risks and side-effects.

In addition to this, a child undergoing the surgery must be able to cope with the implications of bariatric surgery including diet and lifestyle changes and willingness to follow through with medical appointments.

First patients have been teenagers

So far, 4 children have received bariatric surgery in the UK. These young people were aged between 15 and 17, and were mature enough to cope with the demanding surgical procedure and follow-up care schedule. The parents were also involved in each case from the beginning.

The British surgeons are working out of the first specialist surgical centre for pediatric obesity in the UK, which is located in King’s College Hospital in London. The surgical procedure involves placing a gastric band or elastic across the top end of the stomach which causes the individual to feel full after eating very little food. The surgery usually results in a dramatic weight loss.

Restricted diet must follow surgery

After the operation, the patient must submit to a very restricted diet, progressing from a liquid diet to pureed food, and finally solid food in very small quantities. Follow-up appointments take place every month, and exercise is also part of the strict regime. The medical care team may include nutritionists, dieticians, and psychologists as well as the bariatric surgeon.

Doctors and patients stress that this type of surgery is not a “quick fix” solution for rapid weight loss. It should only be undertaken in cases where the child’s obesity is not responding to diet and exercise, and presents considerable health risks. Children are assessed by a specialized health care team for at least 6 months, before bariatric surgery is even mentioned as an option.

Source: BBC News

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2019 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2019 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.