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Teens: The New Target for Bariatric Surgery

With gastric bypass surgeries multiplying by a factor of SIX over the past decade to more than 100,000 annually, it's quite discouraging to read that teenagers may be fueling some of that growth. Considering the endless health risks and a pricetag ranging from $30,000-40,000, is gastric bypass surgery worth it? Evidentially, despite the risks, some parents and their obese kids think so.

Six major hospitals in the New York City area now offer such surgical options for obese teenagers, and all had long waiting lists. Although national numbers aren't available from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery -- another troubling sign meaning not a lot of oversight -- kids as young as 12 have had a gastric bypass operation.

Even one of the doctors interviewed for the piece who supports gastric bypass surgery acknowledges the lack of national guidelines and the risk of operating on KIDS WHO ARE STILL GROWING!

Does it disturb you that some parents would actually prefer to pay for an operation that is completely unnecessary and possibly fatal -- remember the fatality rate for gastric bypass patients is 2 percent up to 30 days after surgery -- because they won't take the responsibility for working with their kids to change their lifestyles and address the underlying causes of obesity?

You can avoid costly surgery and improve the health of your teen dramatically today by taking three important steps:

Spartanburg Herald-Journal November 26, 2004

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