Zevan Davidson Roman Law Firm Articles The Dangers of Bariatric Surgery for Children

The Dangers of Bariatric Surgery for Children

By Kevin Davidson  Dec. 15, 2014 10:02a

The number of obese children has reached an alarming level, not only in the United States, but all over the world.

Some parents are opting for bariatric surgery for their kids to help them lose weight. Apart from the health concerns that obesity raises, there are other complications that may arise with pediatric bariatric surgery. Our St. Louis medical malpractice attorney will discuss the problems associated with paediatric bariatric surgery and how it can play havoc with your child’s health.

Obesity in children is mainly caused by an inactive lifestyle and excessive intake of unhealthy foods that lack essential nutrients. Obesity in children is now a serious health challenge, not only in the developed western nations, but in other nations as well. In the United States, about 18 percent of school-age children are obese.

Children and Bariatric Surgery

Doctors in the United States will perform bariatric surgery on teens, yet they avoid performing the procedure on children under the age of 13 years. Bariatric surgery is usually performed on children who have a BMI of 35 or higher and suffer from an obesity-related health condition. These health conditions include sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and severe liver inflammation.

There are other factors to consider before deciding to have the procedure performed for your child.

  • Whether the child can lose weight by altering diet and adopting an exercise routine.
  • Whether they are still growing or are finished growing.
  • Whether the child is willing to adopt post-surgical life style changes.
  • Use of drugs or alcohol within an year before surgery.

Complications of Pediatric Bariatric Surgery

If a doctor fails to take in account any of these factors before surgery, it can cause severe and life-threatening medical complications for the child. Unfortunately, some doctors have overlooked these factors and performed surgery on high-risk children. It is important that parents educate themselves on the safety guidelines for weight loss surgery so as to avoid a medical malpractice event.

There is no medical consensus on the right age for the bariatric surgery. In the United States, bariatric surgery is rarely performed on children below 13 years. It has been observed that the bariatric surgery may not pose as many threats as the abrupt change in diet does. It often has long-term affects on sexual and brain development. However, surgeons say that they have been facing increased pressure to operate on younger children.

Consulting With a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Our St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer reminds parents that it is extremely important that a family seriously considers the pros and cons of bariatric procedures before resorting to such drastic measures to treat their child’s obesity. If a serious and preventable event occurs during or after the bariatric surgery, immediately consult Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

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