Bariatric Surgery Outcomes in Adolescents

F Qureshi et al. JPGN 2021; 73: 677-683. Longitudinal Outcomes in Adolescents After Referral for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Key findings (study period 2015-2020):

  • Only 22% underwent bariatric surgery (Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG)), mainly due to lack of interest in those referred
  • Reasons for NoLSG: 171 (62% of the NoLSG group) did not return for a 2nd visit, 28 (10%) were considered non-adherent to clinical recommendations, 14 (6%) had insurance denials, 16 (6%) had psychological contraindications including recent suicidal ideations, and 29 (11%) are still considering/pursuing LSG
  • Only 8 (2.3%) of entire cohort were self-pay
  •  LSG patients had 21% total weight loss and 22% total BMI loss at 24 months whereas NoLSG patients had 4% total weight gain and 3% BMI gain (P < 0.01)
  • LSG group had improvement in obesity-associated conditions compared to group without surgery (P < 0.01)
  • Follow-up in both groups was poor (40% for LSG group and <20% for the NoLSG group) 1 year after bariatric referral. This is of particular interest in the LSG group b/c for surgery, patients are required to agree to a 5 year f/u period (though this lacks an enforcement mechanism). The authors note some improvement in f/u coincident with recent broader adoption of telemedine

My take: This single-center found that most patients referred for consideration of bariatric surgery did not have this surgery.

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