The goal of the Bariatric Surgery Program at Texas Children’s Hospital is to promote lifelong health and wellness in adolescents through effective, lasting weight loss. More than 20% of adolescents in the United States are overweight and many suffer from conditions associated with obesity, including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, decreased life expectancy and more.
Since 2004, Texas Children’s has performed more than 100 weight-loss surgeries, helping patients lose more than 50% their excess weight and improving their overall health. With the Bariatric Surgery Program, we are able to intervene early and make an impact that lasts.
Our Approach to Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix – it requires commitment from the patient to make the lifestyle changes necessary to achieve results. At Texas Children’s, we believe in a partnership approach to empower our patients to prepare for weight loss surgery and set them up for success afterwards.
For a minimum of six months, patients will work with a team of physicians, surgeons and medical professionals to find the best option for sustained weight loss. Our multi-disciplinary approach includes:
- Evaluation by many different specialists to review all aspects of the patient’s health
- Support from a dietician and social worker throughout the process
- A variety of labs, sleep studies, x-rays and ultrasounds
- Regular visits with dieticians and physician’s assistants to monitor food logs, evaluate eating habits and follow up on lab results
- Access to two support groups focused on healthy habits and binge eating
At the six-month mark, the patient and their health care team will work together to decide if they are ready to proceed with surgery.
Who Qualifies for Bariatric Surgery?
To be considered for bariatric surgery, patients must meet the following minimum criteria:
- Must be 14 years of age or older and have reached physical and psychological maturity.
- Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater.
- Have one or more significant obesity-related conditions such as prediabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), dyslipidemia and/or pseudotumor cerebri.
- Understand the lifelong commitment required after the surgery and committed to completing the six-month pre-surgery program