Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy

Dr. Jacob performs a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on adolescents and young adults starting at the age of 15 years old.

Obesity can be very challenging for adolescent aged children and Dr. Jacob is here to help on the journey to a healthier and happier self. Dr. Jacob hosts long personalized discussions not only with the patients themselves, but also with the parents of the patients, so everyone is on the same team moving forward.

It turns out that children do extremely well after a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, with some losing up to 80-100% of their initial excess body weight in the first 6 to 9 months.

Initial Visits

If you plan to use your insurance to finance the procedure, you can actually begin the precertification process for your weight loss surgery even before your first visit with Dr. Jacob. To do so, you can begin to collect these three required items (these are required by almost all insurance companies):

1.) A letter from your physician or pediatrician documenting that you have had morbid obesity (BMI of >40, or BMI > 35 with comorbid conditions) for at least 6 months, despite attempts at supervised diet and exercise programs. A sample of this required letter can be downloaded here.

2.) A letter from a bariatric nutritionist who does a one-time preoperative and post-operative nutrition evaluation. All of your dietary questions will be answered. You may use one of your own, or we will recommend one. Call us at 212-879-6677 and we will provide the name and number of a nutritionist.

3.) A letter from a therapist or social worker that states your mental health is stable to proceed with weight loss surgery. You can visit your own, or you can visit one that we recommend. To obtain our recommendation for a weight loss specialized therapist, please call our office at 212-879-6677.

What Does The Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy Involve?

The surgery takes about 1 to 2 hours, and you will then spend about 4 hours in the recovery room and one to two nights in the hospital.

Dr. Jacob uses 5 very small “keyhole” incisions to perform the sleeve gastrectomy. During the surgery he will remove about 85% of the stomach, and then he will oversew the stomach to minimize any risk of leak or bleeding after the surgery ends.

What Are the Benefits of Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy?

According to studies, adolescents who undergo sleeve gastrectomy may achieve even better long-term results than adults who undergo this surgery. The reason is quite simple and logical. When sleeve gastrectomy is performed earlier, the metabolic effects of obesity are much less embedded in the patient’s physiology.

The outcomes for adolescent patients indicate weight loss efficacy and enduring improvement in comorbidities like Type II diabetes for three years or longer after surgery. A review of patient lab results after sleeve gastrectomy has revealed that approximately 95% of adolescent patients experienced a reversal in their Type II diabetes after their weight loss surgery. Conversely, studies show that 50 to 70% of adults who undergo this procedure achieve this.

What studies tend to observe is the physiological benefit of early weight loss surgery. In addition to this data, we also cannot overlook the massive impact that significant weight loss can have on the emotional and social life of a young person!

What Are the Side Effects of Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy?

After sleeve gastrectomy, a patient will receive very clear post-operative instructions that discuss when to resume showering, how to manage post-op discomfort, and how to prevent infection and other complications. Patients who follow these instructions diligently can expect a few mild side effects. These include swelling, bruising, and soreness or tenderness.

Another significant side effect of weight loss surgery for adolescents, similar to adults, is rapid weight loss. The surgery mechanically limits the amount of food that the body can take in. Therefore, patients can expect to lose a significant amount of weight in a twelve-month period. Through this time, several follow-up visits will be scheduled to evaluate progress and answer questions.

In addition to the mechanical effects of surgery, there are also emotional side effects that should be acknowledged. Most patients feel very happy and excited to see their bodies changing and their weight decreasing on the scale. At the same time, it is wise to also expect to feel frustrated or overwhelmed about the dietary modifications that are necessary after this surgery.

Who is a Good Candidate for Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy?

If you or someone you love has not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise, and the lack of weight loss is impacting daily life, emotional health, or physical health, there is a good reason to consult with a weight-loss specialist. Dr. Brian Jacob is an internationally recognized weight loss surgeon in New York City who has helped numerous adults and adolescents free themselves from the burden of obesity.

The consultation for weight loss surgery for adolescents may involve both medical and psychiatric evaluations. The process may involve a medical weight-loss program that does not include surgery. To be a good candidate for adolescent sleeve gastrectomy, it is also necessary to have achieved 95% adult height, and to be generally physically healthy.

Can You Gain the Weight Back After an Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Gastric sleeve surgery has a proven track record of success. That said, it is not the solution, it is the starting point. You can gain weight after sleeve gastrectomy regardless of when you have the procedure done. At the same time, the long-term results of your surgery are largely up to you. The surgery that is performed reduces the amount of volume the stomach can hold. Provided that you adhere to the post-surgical dietary recommendations provided after surgery, you can expect your weight to remain stable throughout your lifetime. 

Post op diet and instructions

Post operative sleeve diet instructions can be downloaded here

Outcomes and Expectations

Patients are evaluated at a minimum of 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, one year and 3 years after surgery.

Most adolescents can expect to lose more than 50% of their initial excess body weight in the first 3 months. For example, a 16 year old female who has a height is 5’5″ and an initial weight of 264 pounds (BMI was 43) had an initial excess weight of 134 pounds. She recently returned for follow up at 3 months after a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and had a new weight of 184 poundsShe had lost 80 pounds in the first 3 months! (This 80 pound loss is 60% of her initial excess body weight).

Another patient was 18 years old and weighed 291 pounds before surgery. 3 months after a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, the patient weighed just 200 pounds, losing 91 pounds in 3 months! (72% of his initial excess weight was lost in 3 months)

Risks

The sleeve gastrectomy is a major surgery and carries risks. Some risks include, but are not limited to, bleeding, a leak, infections, deep vein thrombosis, prolonged hospital stays, reflux esophagitis, and cardiopulmonary risks. Side effects include, but are not limited to, heartburn, constipation, nausea, hair loss, and the risk of weight regain. Up to 30% of patient can regain weight after the first 3 to 4 years. Consult your surgeon for a full list of all of your short term and long term risks.

Learn About Adolescent Sleeve Gastrectomy In NYC!

Dial 212-879-6677 today or fill out the form on this page or our contact page if you are interested in the adolescent sleeve gastrectomy! You can get the answers to any questions you have regarding the procedure, or you can book a one-on-one appointment with Dr. Brian P. Jacob. Our practice looks forward to serving you!

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