Bariatric surgery is a proven method that helps people with severe obesity lose weight and improve their overall health. But is it a safe procedure for children?

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery recommend children who are unable to lose weight through diet and behavioral counseling.

However, many doctors: parents are concerned about its possible long-term side effects.

The new study provides some encouraging long-term data. Researchers at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia have found that gastric lavage is safe and effective for children as young as 5 years old.

“The lack of long-term data և Some pediatricians’ fears that bariatric surgery may affect linear growth in children has led to global resistance to weight loss procedures for children under 14 or 15,” said Ayed Alkhahtani, a professor of bariatric surgery. King Saud University.

“Our findings provide clear evidence that we need to dispel the fluctuations of bariatric surgery in children and adolescents who may benefit from surgery. “We have a proven solution to severe obesity and its comorbidities.”

Stomach surgery involves the removal of a portion of the stomach that contains appetite-stimulating hormone. The rest of the stomach is stuck, creating a thread that is only the size of a banana. Patients eat less food with less hormones that send hunger signals to the brain.

Each participant in the study initially tried to lose weight with a six-month program that included diet and behavior counseling. About 10% of them had type 2 diabetes or abnormal blood fats, and about 15% had high blood pressure before surgery.

Childhood obesity remains a serious problem in the United States. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity was 19.3% between 2017 and 2018, affecting 14.4 million children ահաս adolescents.

Obesity increases the risk of various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. It also increases the risk of digestive problems, gallbladder disease, liver problems, osteoarthritis, depression and sleep apnea. And this is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 symptoms.

When children become obese, they are at risk of developing these conditions much earlier, endangering their current and future health. Many infants never fully lose weight in adults, which can reduce their overall life span.

The Childhood Obesity Foundation says that an obese adult in his 40s can expect to die 3-6 years earlier than a person of normal weight at the same age.

“If you intervene early with surgery, you can cure childhood obesity-related diseases early, improve their quality of life, and if you wait longer, their illnesses can become irreversible,” Alkhahtani said.

It should be noted that surgery is not the best solution to fight obesity. In addition to the possible complications associated with the procedure, there is a risk of vitamin deficiency or weight gain. Experts say that any surgical program should have long-term control for exercise, diet and other lifestyle issues.

Bariatric surgery is not recommended for children who have drug abuse problems, eating disorders or are pregnant. It is also not recommended for all those who can not follow the recommendations made after surgery, including lifestyle and dietary changes. Supplements should be taken daily.

The long-term study looked back at 2,500 Saudis aged 5-21 years with severe obesity who were defined as having a body mass index 20% higher than their obesity rate 10 years after their weight loss surgery. The procedures took place in 2008-2021.

Study participants lost an average of 30% of their total weight, had type 2 diabetes, and were at risk for heart disease. There were no differences in weight loss or height trajectory for young children aged 5 to 14 years compared to older participants.

The long-term results of the surgery were also positive. Participants maintained an average of 71% overweight. More than 70% of them had a complete reversal of type 2 diabetes.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.