The increasing incidence of adolescent bariatric surgery

J Pediatr Surg. 2013 Dec;48(12):2401-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2013.08.015.


Background: Morbid obesity continues to be a significant problem within the United States, as overweight/obesity rates are nearing 33%. Bariatric surgery has had success in treating obesity in adults and is becoming a viable treatment option for obese adolescents.

Methods: We studied 1615 inpatient admissions for children ≤20 years of age undergoing a bariatric procedure for morbid obesity in 2009 using the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). Patients had a principal diagnosis of obesity and a bariatric procedure listed as one of their first 5 procedures. Procedures (open gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastroplasty, and laparoscopic gastric band) and complications were defined by ICD-9 codes.

Results: There were 90 open gastric bypasses, 906 laparoscopic gastric bypasses, 150 sleeve gastrectomies, 18 laparoscopic gastroplasties, and 445 laparoscopic gastric bandings. The length of stay for each procedure was 2.44, 2.20, 2.33, 1.10, and 1.02 days, respectively (P<0.001). The complication rates were 3.3%, 3.5%, 0.7%, 0.0%, 0.2%, respectively (P=0.004).

Conclusions: Bariatric surgery is an increasingly utilized option for the treatment of morbid obesity among adolescents. The procedures can be performed safely as evidenced by low complication rates. Additional long-term follow-up is necessary.

Keywords: Adolescent; Bariatric surgery; Gastric bypass; Morbid obesity; Pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods
  • Bariatric Surgery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Pediatric Obesity / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Young Adult