Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program

When medical and behavioral weight loss programs have proved unsuccessful for severely obese teenagers, bariatric surgery can be an effective treatment, as it can resolve more than 80% of weight-related health issues. For severely obese adolescents who meet strict criteria, bariatric surgery may be the appropriate solution for weight loss.

To meet this need, Lurie Children’s offers bariatric surgery and follow-up treatment for qualified patients at Northwestern Medicine Central Dupage Hospital.  

Pediatric Bariatric Surgery Qualifications

Common qualifications for bariatric surgery are:

  • Age 13-19
  • BMI in the 95th percentile or greater
  • Was unsuccessful with medically managed weight loss attempts
  • Obesity-related medical conditions
  • Compliance with rigorous postoperative dietary, exercise and medical guidelines
  • Understands and agrees with the procedure
  • Understands and accepts lifelong commitment to care after surgery
  • Has family support and realistic expectations of weight loss results

Patients may be ineligible due to the following:

  • Active substance abuse problem (including smoking)
  • Medical, cognitive or psychiatric disability that prevents adherence to program
  • Pregnancy, breastfeeding or plan for pregnancy within one year
  • Inability or unwillingness of patient or family to understand and support procedure

Pediatric Bariatric Surgical Options

Our bariatric surgery program offers two types of procedures for adolescents. Both surgeries are considered permanent and require lifelong follow-up care.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

A sleeve gastrectomy helps patients lose weight by reducing the amount of food they can eat.

Using a laparoscopic approach (tiny incisions), the surgeon removes about 80% of the stomach. The remaining portion is a vertical “sleeve” about the size of a banana that is stapled together.

This procedure does not affect digestion. Food passes through the digestive tract just as it did before, allowing it to be fully absorbed by the body.

Patients typically lose 50-65% of their excess weight in the first two years.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass helps patients lose weight by restricting the amount of food they can eat and reducing the number of calories the body absorbs.

Often performed through tiny incisions (laparoscopically), the surgeon makes the stomach smaller by creating a small pouch at the top. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.

The Roux-en-Y affects digestion because food bypasses part of the small intestine and fewer calories are absorbed.

Patients typically lose 50-80% of their excess weight in the first 12 to 18 months.

Pediatric Bariatric Surgery Specialists

The multidisciplinary team focuses on the unique medical, behavioral, nutritional and psychological needs of each patient. Our specialists will provide medical and surgical care to address the different causes and effects of obesity. 

The team includes Program Director and Surgeon-in-Chief Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD and:

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment for the Winfield location, please call 630.933.4596, for the Main Hospital location in Chicago, please call 312.227.0811.

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