Teenagers often experience changes with their body and difficulty managing their weight when they go through puberty. As a result, some teenagers seek out bariatric surgery as a potential solution. The surgeons at Riverside Surgical & Weight Loss Center do not operate on teens who are under the age of 18 unless there is a major medical issue that would require weight loss surgery. While many parents and their children wonder if teenage weight loss surgery is an option, here’s why it is recommended for those under the age of 18 to wait.
Risks and Misconceptions
Throughout our teenage years a lot of changes happen during our bodies’ development. We can get taller, gain weight, lose weight, and it can often be a mentally taxing journey. Many surgeons do not recommend teenagers for weight loss surgery because they are still growing into their bodies and premature surgery can negatively affect their growth and development in this pivotal time of life. For this reason, the recommended age range for those who are younger to proceed with weight loss surgery is early to late 20s. Also, as teens grow up many tend to lose weight. This can lead to weight loss surgery being an unnecessary procedure for them.
Many teens also want weight loss surgery because they want a permanent solution to a potentially temporary problem, thinking if they have weight loss surgery they will never be overweight again. Unfortunately this is not the case. Weight loss surgery requires a complete lifestyle change. To get long-lasting results, patients must commit to an exercise and nutrition plan, which is something some teenagers have difficulty maintaining.
Understanding the Journey
Weight loss surgery is a huge decision and teens should know all the information and implications before going into it. Just because teenagers might be physically ready to have weight loss surgery does not mean that they are emotionally and mentally ready. Having such a major surgery can have an impact on a person’s mental health. Therefore, it is important that parents and legal guardians talk with their teenagers before they embark on their weight loss journey.
One way for teenagers to show their parents and doctors they’re serious about making changes to their lifestyle is to adopt a nutrition and exercise plan to follow until they’re old enough to have the surgery. This is something all bariatric surgery patients must do before they have the surgery to show that they are serious about living a healthier lifestyle. Not only will this give the teen an idea of what they can expect after their surgery, they might even lose enough weight where the surgery won’t be necessary.
The changes a teen will have to make to their lifestyle in order to make strides in their weight loss journey are sometimes hard to achieve. Knowing surgery is not a simple fix, and understanding the full implications of a major operation can sometimes be hard to process ahead of the procedure.
Weight loss surgery can be an incredible step toward living a happier, healthier life, and our team at Riverside Surgical & Weight Loss Center wants to ensure every patient is well-educated on the process. Even though weight loss surgery is a completely safe procedure, it is better for teens to wait to make this decision until they are older. For more information on weight loss surgery and the best options for you, schedule a consultation with our doctors today!