Treatment of adolescents with morbid obesity with bariatric procedures and anti-obesity pharmacological agents
Scott S Um1, Wendelin Slusser2, Daniel A DeUgarte1
1Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 2Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Abstract: Adolescent obesity is a growing health concern that can have immense physical and psychological impact. Treatment of morbidly obese adolescents should include a multidisciplinary team to address medical comorbidities, diet, physical activity, mental health, and behavior modification. Anti-obesity pharmacologic agents have a limited role in the treatment of adolescents because of concerns with side effects, safety, and efficacy. Orlistat (GlaxoSmithKline, Moon Township, PA) is the only approved medication for weight-loss in adolescents. However, it is associated with gastrointestinal side effects and its long-term efficacy is unknown. Bariatric surgery is the most effective therapy to treat morbid obesity. However, adolescents must meet rigorous criteria and have appropriate cognitive, psychological, and social clearance before being considered for surgical intervention. Gastric bypass remains the gold standard bariatric operation. The adjustable gastric band is not FDA-approved for use in patients under 18 years of age. Sleeve gastrectomy is a promising procedure for adolescents because it avoids an intestinal bypass and the implantation of a foreign body. Prospective longitudinal assessment of bariatric surgery procedures is required to determine long-term outcomes. In this manuscript, we review the treatment options, efficacy, and impact on quality of life for morbidly obese adolescents.
Keywords: bariatric surgery, morbid obesity, weight loss, adolescent
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