Weight-loss surgery may have long-term for teenagers choosing to undergo surgical procedures in order to fight obesity and get back on a healthy track.
A new research has followed the effects of gastric bypass surgery or other weight-loss surgeries for teenagers. While significant benefits have been observed, there are also drawbacks that the authors of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine warn about.
The study focused on 228 teenagers weighing 330 pounds on average at the time they opted for weight-loss surgery. Over three years, they lost over 90 pounds on average. While this is certainly a success, it is more important to focus on the health problems inflicted by obesity.
The research team found that for a large number of the patients included in the study gastric bypass surgery or any other weight-loss surgery also decreased the rate of associated illnesses. Before the surgical interventions, 75 percent of the teenagers were found to have alarmingly high levels of blood fat. After they underwent the respective procedures, significantly lower unhealthy blood fat levels benefited two-thirds of the teenagers.
Similarly, of the 40 percent of the patients who were found to have high blood pressures, three quarters had normal blood pressure levels following weight-loss surgery. The significant diminishing of type 2 diabetes in 90 percent of the patients was also an important gain.
Obesity is affecting approximately 18 percent of U.S. teenagers today. Health issues associated with obesity trigger long-term health conditions that may eventually prove fatal. While a healthy lifestyle is recommended, in some cases weight-loss surgery may have long-term for teenagers.
According to the authors:
“We documented the durability of clinically meaningful weight loss and improvements in key health conditions and weight-related quality of life among adolescents who underwent gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy”.
From this standpoint, the authors urge caution in interpreting the results of their study. To accurately determine the long-term effect of weight-loss surgery for teenagers and how these procedures affect adult health, longer and larger studies should be conducted.
As per the drawbacks of teenager weight-loss surgery, the research team observed that approximately 50 percent of the patients had low iron levels. Previously, only 5 percent presented this problem. For others, it was necessary that physicians intervene to remove the gallbladder as well.
Weight loss surgery remains a safe option where exercise and diet prove ineffective. Nonetheless, larger randomized trials should be conducted in order to fully understand the complex effects of the procedures.
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