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Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery

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Bariatric Surgery Information Sessions

(discuss obesity & next steps to get help)

919-235-6439 (option 7)

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Refer a Patient

Fax: 919-231-0314

Childhood obesity is a serious and complex condition that can dramatically increase the risk of other serious health problems. Despite attempting various weight loss methods, some adolescents are unable to achieve success.

When medical weight management fails, WakeMed offers a surgical option for older adolescents with severe obesity that may be at significant risk for weight-related medical conditions. Combined with lifestyle changes, surgical weight loss can be both safe and highly effective.

WakeMed currently offers weight loss surgery for adolescents ages 18 or older who have participated in our Pediatric Weight Management program for at least six to 12 months.

ABC 11 Reported on Our Program: Watch the Story

Our Location:

Meet Our Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Providers

Click on each item to expand the information.

Getting Started

#1 - Visit our Pediatric Weight Management practice.

It is recommended that all interested families first start off by visiting our Pediatric Weight Management practice for a full evaluation. If medical weight management has failed or if there are multiple risk factors indicating the need for surgical intervention, our pediatric obesity specialist will make a referral to our adolescent bariatric surgery program.

#2 - Attend an information session, held monthly.

Call for information on attending an information session: 919-235-6439 (Option 7).

#3 - Enroll in our comprehensive weight loss program.

To qualify for surgery, patients must be enrolled in our comprehensive weight loss management program for a period of six to 12 months. During this time, your adolescent should meet on a regular basis with our pediatric weight management team, which consists of our medical weight loss specialist, our bariatric surgeon as well as experts in nutrition, exercise, psychology and nursing.

During this time, we will support your adolescent in achieving his/her lifestyle goals prior to surgery.

Several evaluations will be completed along the way to ensure that your adolescent meets the qualifications for surgery, both medically and psychologically.

Your adolescent will meet our bariatric surgeon at the beginning of the process to discuss surgical options offered at our program and answer questions you might have.

Learn more about pediatric weight management at WakeMed.

#4 - Surgery

Once your adolescent completes the 6-12 months period of supervised weight loss, the case will be discussed by our weight loss team to see if he/she completed all requirements for surgery. Once cleared, the case will be submitted for insurance approval. Once this is obtained, you will meet again with our surgeon to schedule surgery.

Learn More About Adolescent Surgical Weight Loss

For those interested in learning more about weight loss surgery, we offer free, monthly information sessions.

During this session, our team will review facts about weight loss surgery, who qualifies, and the types of surgery we offer. It’s an easy, educational and informal way to ask your questions and learn all about our program.

Please note that all adolescents who desire weight loss surgery must attend an information session prior to starting the program.

Enroll in our weight loss information session by calling us today: 919-235-6437 (Option 7).

The Right Procedure for You

Once it is determined that weight loss surgery is right for your adolescent, our surgeon will discuss the surgical options with your family to determine which procedure would be best. During this visit, your surgeon will answer any questions and describe what to expect before and after surgery.

The majority of surgeries are performed laparoscopically (minimally invasive) using small incisions. This technique translates to faster healing and recovery, less pain, fewer scars and fewer complications.

The following procedures are the preferred approach for our adolescent patients:

  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy – This is the most common procedure for adolescent patients and offers similar rates of weight loss and remission of weight-related medical conditions when compared to gastric bypass surgery.
  • Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass – This is the second most common procedure for adolescent patients. It involves reducing the size of the stomach and re-routing the passage of food into the small intestine, changing the process of digestion. This procedure increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies and thus requires more rigorous adherence to vitamin and mineral replacement and post-surgery follow up.

Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

In our program, each patient is evaluated on an individual basis. Although we follow selection guidelines set by the National Institute of Health and other Bariatric societies, there is no absolute set of rules that determine which patient qualifies.

You may qualify for weight loss surgery if:

  • You are morbidly obese as determined by having a Body Mass Index (BMI ≥40) (Determine your child's BMI percentile)
  • You failed medical weight loss for 6-12 month in our weight loss program
  • You have diseases related to obesity including, but not limited to: hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, elevated blood fats, heart problems or chronic back pain
  • You do not have a treatable medical condition causing you to be overweight
  • You are prepared to make major changes in your eating habits and lifestyle as determined by our weight loss team

Weight loss surgery may not be right for you if:

  • You have a medical condition that makes the surgery too risky
  • You currently have a problem with drugs or alcohol
  • You have a serious psychiatric condition that interferes with surgery
  • You are not prepared to make dietary changes and incorporate physical activity in your life
  • You cannot commit to lifelong follow up

ABC 11 Reports on Our Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program