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Adolescent Bariatric Surgery

Obesity is not a condition unique to adults. Today, childhood obesity has become one of the most important public health problems in the U.S.

Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese in adulthood. They are at an increased risk of developing obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension and fatty liver disease. These children are also at a higher risk for developing behavioral health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

About the Banner Health Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program

The Banner Health Adolescent Bariatric Surgery team provides compassionate and comprehensive family-based care for children and teenagers who are overweight or obese and want to achieve a healthier lifestyle and well-being.

Before considering weight loss surgery, teens must be enrolled for at least six months in a comprehensive weight loss program with a team of specialists. Our dietitians, behavioral health specialists, health care providers and staff will help your child adopt healthy lifestyle habits and will address medical concerns related to obesity.

We tailor treatments to your child’s condition. In addition to encouraging healthy lifestyle habits, we may offer medications and specialized diets to support healthy weight loss. Weight loss surgery may also be recommended.

Does My Child Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?

You and your teen will meet with the bariatric team to evaluate if your child qualifies for weight loss surgery. During the first visit, they will perform a thorough medical review, which will include lab work and a body mass index (BMI) measurement.

Additional testing and appointments with other specialists may be required for any related medical conditions.

What Type of Bariatric Surgery Is Performed?

The decision on which bariatric procedure is appropriate for your child is complex and made by the bariatric team, you and your child.

Today, the most commonly performed weight loss surgeries in adults and adolescents are performed laparoscopically or robotically , which is a minimally invasive surgical approach.

Learn more about bariatric surgical procedures.

What are the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery can reverse weight-related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver disease and sleep apnea. Children also experience an improvement in self-esteem, quality of life and socialization.

Research studies have shown that bariatric surgery is more effective when done early than delaying the surgery into adulthood.

What Can We Expect After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a lifelong commitment that requires nutritional and lifestyle changes to help sustain weight loss.

Shortly after surgery, you slowly begin reintroducing foods into your diet, starting with a clear liquid diet. Then you’ll advance to a full liquid diet, a soft food diet and a regular diet in the weeks ahead. To avoid dumping syndrome, you will also have to avoid certain foods, such as simple sugars like honey or white sugar.

You will work with our health care team to determine what is best to eat.

If unwanted, loose skin and tissue hide the results of weight loss surgery, you can work with skilled plastic surgeons who can help smooth and shape your child’s body to ensure they feel and look their best. However, this may not be covered by insurance.

Learn more about the Bariatric Surgery Journey (life pre- to post-surgery).

Our Expert Bariatric Team

Bariatric surgery needs a multidisciplinary approach to obesity care. The Banner Health weight loss team offers compassionate, comprehensive and advanced care. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the safest, most successful bariatric patient experience possible.

Surgery is only one part of that care. Equally important is the education, lifelong follow up and support our team provides. Our team partners with you to achieve your weight loss goals and improve your quality of life.

Your team will involve a surgeon or surgeons, obesity medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, behavioral health specialists, support staff, medical assistants and some specialists in cardiology, pulmonology and sleep medicine. We are all working together with you on your care.

Take the Next Step: Am I a Candidate?

Bariatric Center of Excellence

Banner Health is accredited by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for its high standards of care in weight loss surgery. We are the only program accredited to perform weight loss surgery for adolescents in Phoenix.  

Ready to begin your weight loss journey?

Register to watch our free informational video to learn about the different weight loss surgery options we offer as well as eligibility requirements and what you can expect as a patient in the program.

Register here