The number of adolescents undergoing weight loss surgery (WLS) has increased in response to the increasing prevalence of severe childhood obesity. Adolescents undergoing WLS require unique support, which may differ from adult programs. The aim of this study was to describe institutional and programmatic characteristics of centers participating in Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS), a prospective study investigating safety and efficacy of adolescent WLS. Data were obtained from the Teen-LABS database, and site survey completed by Teen-LABS investigators. The survey queried (1) institutional characteristics, (2) multidisciplinary team composition, (3) clinical program characteristics, and (4) clinical research infrastructure. All centers had extensive multidisciplinary involvement in the assessment, pre-operative education, and post-operative management of adolescents undergoing WLS. Eligibility criteria and pre-operative clinical and diagnostic evaluations were similar between programs. All programs have well-developed clinical research infrastructure, use adolescent-specific educational resources, and maintain specialty equipment, including high weight capacity diagnostic imaging equipment. The composition of clinical team and institutional resources is consistent with current clinical practice guidelines. These characteristics, coupled with dedicated research staff, have facilitated enrollment of 242 participants into Teen-LABS.
Keywords: Adolescent; Bariatric surgery; Guidelines; Obesity; Program.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.