The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens at Cincinnati Children’s offers comprehensive evaluation and multidisciplinary care for adolescents seeking weight loss surgery. 

With adolescent obesity having tripled over the last three decades, more and more teens are seeking new, alternative weight loss options. Increasing numbers of teens have intractable obesity and life-threatening or life-altering health problems related to obesity. This is why we consider surgery a last resort for treating severely obese teens (body mass index greater than or equal to 40).

We are the first and largest dedicated adolescent program in the United States, and we lead the nation in NIH-funded studies to better understand the outcomes of adolescent weight loss surgery.  If you’re thinking about referring a patient for bariatric surgery to the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, here are some guidelines:

  • Standard dietary and exercise measures are less successful in children with extreme obesity. Therefore, we feel that extremely obese patients should be offered multidisciplinary programs that include medical and surgical treatment options to achieve clinically meaningful, sustained weight loss and improvement in comorbid diseases.
  • Weight loss surgery should be considered for adolescents with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2, weight-related medical, physical or functional comorbidities and failed conventional weight loss attempts. 
  • Those with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 with serious conditions including diabetes mellitus type 2, moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, severe nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and pseudotumor cerebri should also be considered for referral. 
  • Timing of surgery for adolescents is very important as referral at the highest BMI values may preclude the ability to reverse obesity (BMI <30 kg/m2).="" despite="" bmi="" reductions="" averaging="" nearly="" 40="" percent="" after="" surgery,="" adolescents="" who="" had="" reached="" the="" highest="" pre-operative="" extremes="" of="" bmi="" (bmi="" ≥65kg/m2)="" remained="" extremely="" obese="" at="" one="" year="" post-operatively="" with="" bmi="">
  • Laparoscopic procedures offered by our program include the roux-en-y gastric bypass, the sleeve gastrectomy and the adjustable gastric band (for those ages 18 and older).