Safe and effective weight loss
The Adolescent Weight Loss (Bariatric) Surgery Program at Boston Children's Hospital is dedicated to understanding and addressing the medical, surgical, nutritional, emotional, and social needs of children who are candidates for weight loss surgery.
We understand that weight-loss surgery affects the whole person. As part of the top pediatric hospital in the country, we have access to experts in a variety of fields that enables us to care for our patients at every level. Specifically, our collaboration with the following departments allows us to care for various systems potentially affected by bariatric surgery:
- By collaborating with the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, we can care for patients’ nutritional needs leading up to and following surgery.
- Our collaboration with the Division of Gynecology allows us to provide coordinated long acting reproductive contraception and PCOS management for interested patients.
- We collaborate with the Department of Cardiology to address cardiovascular co-morbidities (such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure) associated with weight.
- The Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine offers specific expertise in the management of eating disorders, as well as medical weight loss management for those who are not prepared for surgery.
- All patients also see a provider in the Sleep Medicine team to determine the need for a sleep test given the very high rates of sleep apnea in our patients.
- Our plastic surgeons work with our patients postoperatively who are interested in skin removal surgery after extensive weight loss.
- The Division of Endocrinology sees many of our patients who are managing pre-diabetes or active diabetes.
Our approach to weight-loss surgery
The first step is a thorough education, conducted with our care and support team. Our guiding principle is that weight-loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) should only be considered after all other attempts at reaching a healthy weight have failed. We believe, however, that weight-loss surgery can be a safe and effective option for a child whose obesity has persisted despite all medical efforts, and who is suffering from the complications of obesity. For these children and their families, we provide the full array of weight loss surgery services all in one location:
- surgical consultation and evaluation
- medical evaluation and treatment recommendations for health problems caused by obesity
- oversight of pre-operative diet and education
- minimally invasive surgery
- nutritional counseling
- exercise support
- psychological support
- support groups
- long-term follow-up