The major benefits of weight loss surgery for adults have been clearly documented over the years from many scientific studies: weight loss, improvement in blood sugar control, improvement in cardiovascular health, reduced blood pressure, and improvements in obesity-related breathing disorders.
But a new study looked at the benefits of gastric sleeve surgery on teens averaging age 17 years old. Specifically, they looked at how weight loss surgery affects cholesterol and cardiovascular health. While the study was small and looked only at males, the results were significant and showed 6 specific benefits.
- The teens lost an average of 111 pounds in the year after gastric sleeve surgery.
- They saw a 32% reduction in their BMIs.
- HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels increased by 23% in the year following surgery.
- Researchers also noted a 12% improvement in the ability of HDL cholesterol to remove cholesterol from artery walls so it can be excreted from the body.
- The HDL oxidation potential, or measure of how easily HDL generates free radicals which can trigger inflammation, decreased 30%.
- The HDL became more anti-inflammatory. Inflammation has been linked with several deleterious health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The study authors plan to extend their study to females. But, for now, the results are definitely worth consideration. These improvements in cardiovascular health are impressive and considering the teens will likely have decades of improved health after the surgery, the results may be quite life altering.
While performing gastric sleeve surgery (or gastric bypass or lap band surgery) on teens is not standard practice, it can be done when medically indicated and appropriate for the individual. If you or a loved one under 18 are considering bariatric surgery for obesity and comorbid conditions, consult Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A. to discuss which form of bariatric surgery is right for you by calling (561) 483-8840 FREE to schedule a consultation. Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric practice is located in Boca Raton, but serves patients from all over South Florida including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Hialeah, Parkland, and West Palm Beach.