Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) is a treatment for severe obesity in which specialists modify the stomach and its connections to help teens lose weight. For severely obese adolescents, who haven’t had success with behavioral and nutritional approaches to weight loss, bariatric surgery is another effective tool for weight management. This tool, however, should be used only when other non-operative approaches have failed to achieve lasting results.

Quick Recovery Time

Due to the minimally invasive nature of weight-loss surgery − using small incisions and sophisticated instruments − the average hospital stay for teens undergoing gastric bypass surgery is only two to three days, and many patients will return to school or work within two weeks. 

Long-term Follow-up Care

The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens (SWLPT) team helps teens and their families adopt the behavioral and lifestyle changes that are needed for lifelong successful weight management. They also offer guidance and counseling after surgery by scheduling regular post-operative consultation visits, support group meetings and annual SWLPT events.

Eligibility for Bariatric Surgery

At the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, we believe that teens considering  surgery should:

  • Have been unsuccessful with  organized weight loss attempts
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more with some obesity-related health problems
  • Be capable of and willing to adhere to all nutritional guidelines postoperatively
  • Be able to demonstrate that they know what surgery is about, including risks and benefits, and that they understand the lifelong commitment to care after the surgery
  • Have a supportive family with realistic expectations about weight loss surgery

Who is Not a Good Candidate?

Teens are not good candidates for bariatric surgery if they:

  • Have a  medically correctable cause of obesity
  • Have had a substance abuse problem within the preceding year
  • Have a  medical, psychiatric or cognitive condition that would significantly impair  their ability to adhere to diet, exercise or medication regimens  
  • Are currently breast-feeding, pregnant or planning to become pregnant within two years

Calculate Your Body Mass Index

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. Calculate your body mass index.