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.

The surgery

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.

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.

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