Can Teenagers Get Bariatric Surgery? By Gaston Tessada on January 22, 2024

person weighing themself Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. An article published by National Public Radio (NPR) states that about one in five children in the U.S. are classified as obese, and approximately six percent have severe obesity. Given the health risks associated with obesity, many parents may wonder, “Can teenagers get bariatric surgery?”

Weight loss surgery decreases the stomach’s size and alters the digestive tract to encourage rapid and significant weight loss, which can have lifelong health benefits. Here, the team at Vision Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, discusses teenage candidacy for bariatric surgery and how to decide if surgical treatment is the right option for your family member.

Is Bariatric Surgery Approved for Adolescents?

There is no set age limit for bariatric surgery, but in the past, the procedure was not readily available to adolescents or teens. In many circumstances, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recommends bariatric surgery for people between the ages of 18 and 65. However, NPR reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently endorsed advanced treatment for severe obesity in kids, which includes surgery or medication.

Bariatric surgery may be appropriate for children as young as 13, provided they meet specific medical criteria. If an adolescent is unable to lose weight even under medical supervision and if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or a BMI between 35 and 40 along with a comorbidity (a disease or condition that threatens one’s health), they may be suitable candidates for bariatric surgery.

Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?

Many parents struggle when deciding if bariatric surgery is a good choice for their child. Safety is usually the top concern. No surgical procedure is free of risks. Surgical complications that could develop after bariatric surgery include infection, ulcers, dumping syndrome, and malnutrition. Although complications can occur, the risks of bariatric surgery are low. Many patients recover from surgery without any issues. Furthermore, our Tijuana patients often find that the benefits of weight loss surgery outweigh the potential risks.

Long-term Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

People often want to lose weight for the aesthetic effects; they want a slimmer figure. However, the long-term benefits of bariatric surgery go much deeper than appearances. Bariatric surgery can help adolescents and teens live longer and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Other potential benefits of bariatric surgery include:

  • Improvement or cure of weight-related health conditions (including type 2 diabetes and hypertension)
  • Faster metabolism
  • Better quality of life
  • Enhanced confidence
  • Improved mobility

Should I Consider Medical Tourism?

Insurance companies do not always provide coverage for bariatric surgery, particularly if the patient is an adolescent or teen. When the cost of bariatric surgery is prohibitive, individuals should consider medical tourism. Medical tourism through our Tijuana bariatric center allows patients to undergo bariatric surgery in a state-of-the-art facility at a fraction of the cost. Treatment is safe, and packages are all-inclusive, so patients do not have to worry about additional costs for transportation or accommodations.

Contact Vision Bariatrics

Bariatric surgery assists obese patients in losing weight and taking control of their health. If you would like to learn more about the weight loss techniques offered at Vision Bariatrics and whether they may be right for your teen, contact our practice online and request a consultation at your earliest convenience.

Related to This

Vision Bariatrics

Choose a Trusted Team

The medical team at Vision Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, is committed to providing the highest quality of care to deliver life-changing results. Drs. Francisco Gonzalez, Mario Camelo Ramos, and Francisco Guarista are all board-certified bariatric surgeons trained in the latest weight loss surgery methods. Additionally, we offer: 

  • State-of-the-art surgical care
  • Affordable, transparent pricing
  • A safe, secure campus 

To learn more about our Tijuana practice, call us at (619) 313-3171, or request a quote online.

Contact Us Today

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in Fray Servando Teresa de Mier 15, Zona Urbana Rio  Tijuana, BC

Vision Bariatrics

Fray Servando Teresa de Mier 15, Zona Urbana Rio
Tijuana, BC 22320

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tell us a bit about yourself...

619-313-3171 Send a message