Many patients often come to our office with this question, to which there is no concrete and definitive answer.

However, based on our experience and clinical research reports on the effects of weight loss surgery in underaged patients, we believe that the news regarding the positive changes for patients within this age group is really encouraging.

Is gastric sleeve surgery possible for teenagers?

Although the reality is that the specific data on this topic lends itself to a full article, our intention in this article is to clarify whether or not gastric sleeve surgery is recommended for adolescents: the short answer is YES.

However, an adolescent cannot be treated in the same way as an adult from a psychological/emotional, or nutritional point of view, since the patient must be physically and emotionally mature enough to be a good candidate.

By this we mean that speaking specifically of gastric sleeve surgery in adolescents, there are no considerable risks of developing vitamin deficiencies, as long as the patient is committed, as well as his family, to lead a life as healthy as possible where they integrate to their daily life physical activity and adequate quality food.

As in the case of adults who undergo bariatric surgery, adolescents require thorough planning and evaluation with emphasis on psychological evaluation to determine if the patient is a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery.

Emotional maturity, a key factor for the success of the surgery in adolescents

I think that the most important thing to take into consideration when contemplating the idea of ​​solving obesity with weight loss surgery in an adolescent is that many times they are not mature enough to take seriously such an important step that a surgery of this type represents.

By this, we mean the great opportunity to change the course of the trend of their weight and their life without wasting this valuable opportunity. As we have already mentioned in other articles, there is no better weight loss surgery than the first and well selected, both in the type of procedure and in the appropriate patient.

When the patient is not in optimal conditions psychologically speaking, we consider that it is better to postpone the decision. And while waiting for circumstances to change, make a big effort with other non-surgical measures such as diet and exercise, as well as drug treatment for weight loss.

And if, after a few months or years, the goals set with conservative measures are not achieved, it will be time to return to the idea of treating adolescent obesity with weight loss surgery. Since, unfortunately, based on statistics and studies, it is proven that this tendency to obesity is usually maintained in adult life, which leads to a significant impact on the quality of life both from the physical and emotional point of view.

It is estimated that the obese adolescent patient can suffer serious health problems between 40 and 60 years of age and face a reduction in their life span of around 10 to 20 years!

Teamwork for a successful treatment

Even having said this, it is important that every adolescent patient is fully evaluated and managed by a multidisciplinary team to offer the best solution.

Considering the consequences of obesity in adolescents, we advise being more aggressive and concise against this disease to avoid the complications of obesity in the long term. Bariatric surgery is an excellent tool for correctly selected patients.

The message for the parents of adolescents who are considering this treatment option is that the patient must have an ideal family environment that facilitates the success of their surgery in the short and medium-term.

As we all know, adolescence is a difficult stage of life and we must encourage surgery to be a stimulus and not another cause of stress in the adolescent's life.

The optimal environment depends largely on family dynamics for the patient to feel supported. In addition, he/she must demonstrate that is capable of making appropriate decisions for his/her age and that he/she is committed by his/her own conviction, rather than by request or imposition.

If you have any questions about this topic or are interested in having bariatric surgery in Piedras Negras, Mexico contact us at