Stomach Stapling Kids

Stomach Stapling Kids
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Bariatric weight-loss surgery (like Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) is increasingly performed in children as young as five years old.

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Weight loss surgery for children and adolescents is becoming widespread, performed in children as young as five.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common type of procedure, in which they cut out nearly the entire stomach.

Yes, bariatric surgery in pediatric patients results in weight loss, but also has the potential for serious complications, including pulmonary embolism, shock, intestinal obstruction, postoperative bleeding, leaking along the staple line, and severe malnutrition. Complications include death–a mortality rate of 0.5%. That would mean 1 in 200 kids who go under the knife may die.

Infection is identified as the leading cause of death, most often associated with leaking of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and you have to go in and do another procedure, and if that doesn’t work, we can always try implanting electrodes into their brains, a novel anti-obesity strategy recently reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery. The concept of deep brain stimulation has always been that placing an electrode somewhere in the brain could make people eat less. They just drill two little holes in your skull, snake some electrodes in a few inches, and then tunnel the wires under your scalp into a pulse generator implanted under the skin on your chest. You can’t crank it up past five volts because it induces anxiety and nausea.  But even without the nausea, people with electrodes stuck in their brains lost an average of about ten pounds a year.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Al King via Flickr.

Weight loss surgery for children and adolescents is becoming widespread, performed in children as young as five.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common type of procedure, in which they cut out nearly the entire stomach.

Yes, bariatric surgery in pediatric patients results in weight loss, but also has the potential for serious complications, including pulmonary embolism, shock, intestinal obstruction, postoperative bleeding, leaking along the staple line, and severe malnutrition. Complications include death–a mortality rate of 0.5%. That would mean 1 in 200 kids who go under the knife may die.

Infection is identified as the leading cause of death, most often associated with leaking of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and you have to go in and do another procedure, and if that doesn’t work, we can always try implanting electrodes into their brains, a novel anti-obesity strategy recently reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery. The concept of deep brain stimulation has always been that placing an electrode somewhere in the brain could make people eat less. They just drill two little holes in your skull, snake some electrodes in a few inches, and then tunnel the wires under your scalp into a pulse generator implanted under the skin on your chest. You can’t crank it up past five volts because it induces anxiety and nausea.  But even without the nausea, people with electrodes stuck in their brains lost an average of about ten pounds a year.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Al King via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

The childhood obesity epidemic is so tragic. It pains me to see insult piled on injury. Too often medical treatments can be worse than the disease. See my video Why Prevention is Worth a Ton of Cure.

Speaking of prevention—what might be the best diet for our young ones? See:

There are complications associated with gastric bypass in adults too. See my video The Dangers of Broccoli?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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