In the Science section of today’s New York Times, there was an article about getting weight loss surgeries such as lap-band and gastric bypass procedures. The piece told the story of one girl who, now 20, had a gastric bypass when she was 14, going from 404 pounds to 175. She was the first
A 2007 study
, which used data from 2000 to 2003, showed that, although rare, bariatric surgery in children and teens was on the rise. It is estimated that it will continue to rise, becoming almost as common in children as in adults.
While I think options are an important thing and that as time goes on, and that it may become easier to address and avoid some of the complications that result from weight loss surgery, I worry that people would come to see it as a quick fix rather than as a major life-changing procedure.
You don’t just get up off the operating table and go eat a burger. It takes a long, long time to adjust to being able to eat a much smaller volume of food, and there are also many nutritional anemias and deficiencies that can develop post-op, depending on the type of surgery you’ve had and how it affects the digestion and absorption process. In children who aren’t done growing, there is some concern about longterm effects.
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