Columbus Children’s Hospital is one of several pediatric institutions in the country involved in an investigational clinical trial using a gastric band in severely obese adolescents 14-years-old to 17-years-old. During the trial, researchers will study the effects of the band over a long-term follow-up period. The goal of the trial is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness in a morbidly obese adolescent population (ages 14 to 17 years) and to assess associated changes from baseline in obesity-related comorbidities (i.e., diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, etc.) as well as psychosocial functioning.
“By the time overweight children reach their teens, if nothing has changed in terms of their weight and their weight-growth curve, they have an overwhelming chance of carrying that weight into their adult years,” said Marc Michalsky, MD, surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Columbus Children’s Hospital and a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
During this new type of weight reduction surgery, a small band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch, so that the area where food enters the stomach is small and restricts the amount of food a person can eat. Patients who have this surgery feel full after eating small amounts.
Not all overweight people qualify for bariatric surgery. Adolescents who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40, or a BMI of at least 35 with one or more obesity-related comorbidities, who have a documented attempt to lose weight by following a medically supervised diet, and who have undergone a thorough medical screening process at Columbus Children’s Hospital may qualify for the weight reduction surgery under this investigational clinical trial.
“Bariatric surgery is a big step for patients,” Michalsky said. “But we believe that it is a step in the right direction. It gives severely obese patients a chance to take control of their body’s weight and improve their overall medical condition. It is surgery to help cure disease.”
For the ultimate success of bariatric surgery, lifestyle adaptation is necessary and patients must closely follow a special diet to lose weight. Balanced nutrition and exercise is the key for patients to control their weight and lower their risk for health problems. This includes a healthy eating pattern and regular exercise for the rest of their lives.
Pam Barber / Mary Ellen Fiorino
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