Weight-Loss Surgery for Teens? Here’s What You Need to Know

Oct 14, 2020

Should I Consider Weight-Loss Surgery for My Teen?

Childhood obesity is a growing concern. According to national data, 4.5 million children in the United States are classified as “severely obese.” While some children and teens can lose a few pounds through diet and exercise, traditional methods won’t help those suffering from long-term obesity.
The good news is weight-loss surgery is a safe, effective way for preteens and teens to overcome severe obesity. Nova Bariatrics offers the most common types of weight-loss surgery, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass to help patients lose up to 30 percent of their body weight and keep it off. Weight-loss surgery helps children and adults live the healthy life they deserve. While the surgeries are safe and evidence-based, there are a number of things parents should keep in mind before exploring weight-loss surgery for their children.

How Do I know if my teen needs weight-loss surgery

A child whose weight is higher than what is considered normal for their height is described as being overweight or obese. The body mass index (BMI) is used to estimate what makes a person overweight or obese. The BMI is related to the amount of fat stored in a person’s body. Childhood obesity raises many potential health problems for the child.
Here’s a BMI cheat sheet to help you understand whether or not your child should consider weight-loss surgery

Body Mass Index (BMI) For Children & Teens

BMI: At or above the 85th percentile on the CDC Growth Charts
Classification: Overweight or Obesity
BMI: At or above the 95th percentile on the CDC Growth Charts
Classification: Obesity (including extreme obesity)
BMI: At or above 120 percent of the 95th percentile on the CDC growth charts.
Classification: Extreme obesity
If your child is at or above the 95th percentile, you might want to consider weight-loss surgery. Gastric bypass and other types of weight-loss surgery, collectively known as bariatric surgery, make surgical changes to your stomach and digestive system that limit how much food you can eat and how many nutrients you absorb, leading to weight loss.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

  • Lifestyle: Poor lifestyle choices are a major cause of childhood obesity. Too little exercise and too many calories from processed foods and drinks can lead to substantial weight gain. If children don’t exercise, then they can’t burn the right amount of daily calories. The rise in technology and social media have led children and teens to lead a sedentary lifestyle. While media is fine when consumed in small does, too much will lead to a much bigger problem.
  • Genetics: While childhood obesity rates have increased throughout the world, children are not the first to experience weight-related issues. More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight, and more than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity. A parent’s poor lifestyle choices can also contribute to a child or teen’s overall health issues.Trauma: Many children overeat and drink to cope with underlying emotional issues. These issues could be inherited or inspired by their environment i.e. poor education, bullying, low self-esteem etc. We recommend you seek a therapist to help your child or teen cope with these psychological issues. You may need to make more drastic changes depending on the situation such as having the child switch schools or go on medication.

Health Consequences of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity leads to numerous long lasting health conditions. The following are the most common health consequences linked to teen and childhood obesity:

  • Type 2 Diabetes- obesity affects the way your child or teen’s body handles glucose. A sedentary lifestyle increases your child’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • High Cholesterol & Blood Pressure-Obesity causes plaque to build up in your child or teen’s arteries. If these arteries narrow and harden, your child runs the risk of a heart attack later on.
  • Asthma-While asthma is a common problem in children and teens, it is more likely to occur in children and teens who are overweight or obese.
  • Sleep Disorders-Overweight or obese children and teens are more likely to develop sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts a child’s breathing during sleep.

NOVA Bariatrics is With You Every Step of the Way

We understand that every weight loss journey is unique. We’re here every step of the way so you can get back to what’s most important to you—stronger and healthier than ever.
For many, fighting obesity can be a difficult struggle yet a very important one. Morbid Obesity puts an extraordinary amount of stress on your body which can lead to serious conditions including:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood pressure
  • Pain and Arthritis in joints
  • Reflux Disease
  • Cancer

Over time, obesity will cause a breakdown of your body’s systems. This can lead to a deterioration in your overall health and a decrease in your life expectancy. Bariatric Surgery is a powerful tool that helps reverse and even prevent the effects of morbid obesity.

Meet Our Doctor

Dr. Mustafa Alibhai, MD, FACS, FASMBS

For many, fighting obesity can be a difficult struggle yet a very important one. Morbid Obesity puts an extraordinary amount of stress on your body which can lead to serious conditions including:
Dr. Mustafa Alibhai is the founder of NOVA Bariatrics and General Surgery in DFW. He is a board certified and fellowship trained bariatric and minimally invasive surgeon in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He is extensively trained in performing the most effective surgical and non-surgical medical weight loss procedures to date. He is especially skilled in robotic surgery which he uses to execute a wide range of general surgical procedures to give his patients the fastest & easiest recoveries possible.

Dr. Alibhai is well known among his patients and community for his thoughtful and patient approach. He firmly believes that weight loss is a journey and commits to his patients’ success by walking alongside them every step of the way. He dedicates time to help guide each patient with solutions and individualized treatments that will work best for them

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



Skip to content