At the UCLA Fit for Health Weight Program, we do not have strict age restrictions or criteria for weight loss surgeries. Each patient is treated individually and offered both medical and surgical options depending on their multidisciplinary evaluation. Surgical options include:
If your child qualifies for weight-loss surgery, we will do everything possible to help you obtain insurance approval. The American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery (ASBMS), recently reviewed results of the sleeve gastrectomy and reported that the three year results are comparable to other weight-loss surgeries and better than the gastric band with a lower complication rate. Nonetheless, many insurance companies will demand long-term results prior to funding the sleeve gastrectomy. We feel that children with compromised health can't afford to wait. Even if we are able to achieve short-term results, there is hope of making lifestyle changes during the important "formative" years of adolescence that can last a lifetime. Furthermore, the sleeve gastrectomy procedure doesn't "burn any bridges". Other malabsorptive operations can be "added" to help reduce weight and improve overall health in the future.
After surgery, most patients will be in the hospital for two days. Patients are able to drink clear liquids the day after surgery. Full liquids and protein shakes are started two days after surgery. Well-chewed solid food can be started a few weeks after surgery. Surgery is only an aid, and strict diet-adherence must be maintained. Patients who have long-term success will restrict portions to 1/3 normal serving size for their lifetime. We also recommend an anti-ulcer medication (proton pump inhibitor) for a minimum of three months after the operation to help with symptoms. Vitamins supplements will also be given if there are preoperative deficiencies. Birth control may also be prescribed to avoid pregnancy for at least one to two years after the operation.
The majority of weight loss occurs during the first six months after surgery. The weight loss begins to plateau around one to two years after the surgery. There may be a small weight increase after that time. The average expected excess body weight loss is 60% after one to two years.
Preoperative body weight: 250 lbs
Ideal body weight: 125 lb
Excess body weight: 125 lbs
60% of excess body weight: 75 lbs
Average expected postoperative weight after two Years: 175 lbs