Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) Study

Nationwide Children's Hospital is one of only five institutions nationally to join a multi-institution clinical research study to understand the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery in adolescents.

The Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) research study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Marc P. Michalsky, MD, surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, will lead this study at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The Teen-LABS consortium members include Nationwide Children's Hospital, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Texas Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Alabama and the University of Pittsburgh.

Teen-LABS is being conducted in parallel with LABS, an NIH study designed to examine similar outcomes in adult patients undergoing bariatric surgical treatment. By comparing features of adolescent and adult bariatric surgery patients, research could help clarify medical and psychological health outcomes of bariatric surgery. This comparison could lead to better decision-making regarding appropriate timing of surgery for young Americans whose health is increasingly threatened by extreme obesity.

Currently, there are only a few centers in the United States, including the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, that offer weight loss surgery specifically for teenagers. This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of obesity treatment in teenagers and may change the way patients are considered for gastric bypass surgery.

Goals of the Teen-LABS Study

The goal of this study is to identify changes in obesity-related health risks in the morbidly obese adolescent population and to compare outcomes to the more traditional adult population undergoing similar surgical intervention. Additional goals of this research are to determine the potential impact on psychosocial impairments related to severe obesity.

To address the primary objectives of Teen-LABS, specific research questions have been developed in the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular risk factors and fitness
  • Endocrine changes
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Weight Loss and Body Composition
  • Renal Disease
  • Liver function and size
  • Risks of Bariatric Surgery
  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Adherence to nutritional supplements
  • Psychosocial factors

Criteria for Teen-LABS

The Teen-LABS study will enroll 200 adolescents from five clinical centers across the United States. To be considered for the Teen-LABS study, an adolescent must be 19 years of age or younger at the time of study enrollment, have a Body Mass Index of 95% or greater, and have been approved to have bariatric surgery at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Teen-LABS study participants may also have the opportunity to take part in the TeenView study. The TeenView study looks at the emotional health and quality of life experienced by teenagers who are overweight.

Physician offices may request a bariatric surgery appointment to have patients evaluated at the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition. Please include growth charts with recent weights and heights, any labs, test results and letters as well as a current copy of the insurance card.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition by calling (614) 962-6375.

Adolescents participating in this clinical research study will visit the Clinical Research Services research facility at Nationwide Children's four times over a span of two years to complete questionnaires, provide blood and urine samples and to have body measurements recorded. Clinical Research Services, a one-stop, comprehensive resource for investigators conducting clinical and translational research, will be providing the research support and clinical resources for this study.