Surgical Weight Loss Program
How We're Different

A Tradition of Innovation and Discovery

The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens (SWLPT) has a tradition of innovation and discovery.


Our program’s surgical director, Michael A. Helmrath, MD, MS, leads various adolescent surgical weight loss scientific studies, including the multisite Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery research study (Teen-LABS). Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2006, the Teen-LABS research study assesses the clinical characteristics and safety outcomes of severely obese adolescents undergoing weight loss surgery. This study helps pool and translate meaningful evidence-based knowledge regarding patient evaluation, selection and follow-up care.

We are committed to testing, refining and providing the research-driven clinical care outcomes, which will enable our adolescent patients to achieve a lifetime of successful weight management.

Multidisciplinary Team

The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens is home to specialists in pediatric and adolescent health. Our care team consists of professionals who are experts in their fields, including surgery, medicine, nursing, nutrition, social work, pulmonary medicine, endocrinology, cardiology and behavioral health.

Comprehensive Path of Treatment

We realize that choosing to have weight loss surgery is a difficult and life-changing decision. Our patients are provided extensive, individualized assessments and preoperative care prior to moving forward with weight loss surgery. During the three- to six-month preoperative period, our team delivers developmentally appropriate, research-based education and ongoing support for the individual patient.

In collaboration with the patient’s primary and specialty care providers, we provide long-term follow-up and monitoring, including weight and laboratory supervision, chronic illness surveillance, individual goal setting, social support and problem solving.

Adolescent Support Group

Support group meetings are an integral part of the program. The support group topics are chosen by a peer leadership group to assure the specific needs of adolescents before and after weight loss surgery are addressed. The peer advisory group, under the supervision and assistance of the team social worker, leads the support group meetings. In recognition of our patients’ achievements, our program hosts an annual celebration. This event brings together patients, families and staff for informal socializing, networking and support.

Online Second Opinions

Our nationally-recognized specialists provide online second opinions for families. They will review your case and answer specific questions about a diagnosis or treatment options. It’s easy, convenient and secure. Plus, you don’t have to leave home. Our case manager will collect your medical records and guide you through the process.