Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery

Dr. Spaniolas at Stony Brook Children's Hospital

Bariatric and metabolic surgery for adolescents has been demonstrated to provide long-lasting weight loss and improvement in weight-related medical problems. Several high quality research articles highlight that the benefits of surgery in adolescent patients can be even more pronounced than the benefits experienced by adult patients.

Our multidisciplinary program at Stony Brook University includes the participation of adolescent medicine experts. After comprehensive evaluation, adolescent patients and their families are offered several medical and surgical options for weight management. The bariatric surgeons at Stony Brook have extensive experience in caring for adolescents with excess weight. Based on the comprehensive approach and the high quality, the Stony Brook Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center has been accredited as a center with Adolescent Qualifications, the highest level of accreditation available.

< Learn more about our accreditations >

Facts About Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery

  • Similar Weight Loss Success Compared to Adults: Younger patients, 14-19 years of age, have similar weight loss success compared to adult patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Scientific evidence suggests that adolescent patients lose approximately 25 to 35 percent of their initial weight following surgery, which is similar to the results demonstrated by adults.
  • Long lasting weight loss: Surgery has established long-term results in regards to weight loss. This has been shown repeatedly in large studies of adult patients. We now have evidence to support that this long-term benefit is also seen for adolescent patients, with an average loss of 30 percent of presurgery weight.
  • Adolescents experience a high chance of comorbidity improvement: Recent published evidence shows that younger patients have a higher chance of diabetes remission and normalization of their blood pressure, compared to adults. Abnormalities in lipid panel, blood glucose and blood pressure can be commonly seen with excess weight, even in younger patients. Bariatric surgery can provide a significant positive change in these conditions. Studies show that these abnormalities can be resolved in 65 to 95 percent of adolescent patients within three years after surgery.
  • Bariatric surgery is very safe--it is even safer for younger patients: The overall safety of bariatric surgery has been shown in several large scientific reports from across the world and the United States. Complication rates with surgery are very low, and serious early side effects are seen in less than 2 percent of patients. Research on adolescents suggests that surgery can be performed with a very brief hospital stay and even lower rates of adverse events.
  • Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics: Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics place strong emphasis on the benefit of bariatric surgery for younger patients. The Academy recommends that bariatric surgery should be considered for patients over the age of 13 years, with BMI more than 120 percent of the 95th percentile for age and gender, who may also have other conditions related to excess weight (such as diabetes type 2, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, etc.).
Physicians Weekly New England Journal of Medicine