Weight Loss Surgery for Teens in Huntsville, AL
Weight Loss Surgery is an important tool in the fight against obesity. And it makes sense to fight it. When people have excess body fat, other chronic diseases come with it. These diseases include sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver disease, and diabetes. If unchecked, obesity can turn into morbid obesity, which means a serious decrease in lifespan. And unfortunately, obesity is not a condition that has a limitation based on age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17% of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 (about 12.7 million children and adolescents) are obese. So, there is plenty of motivation for pediatricians, doctors, and parents to intervene on their children’s behalf.
But just how well does weight loss surgery work for teens? Does it improve their lives and health better or worse than their adult counterparts? And if it does work, what sort of factors are in play? Let’s talk about it.
How Do Teens Fare After Weight Loss Surgery?
An interesting thing to note is that teens who underwent weight-loss surgery were able to bounce back much faster and even better than their adult counterparts. According to Dr. Thomas Inge, the Director of Adolescent Bariatric Surgery in Colorado, “The data are pointing us to teens having better results than adults.” He lead a multiple-year study that consisted of 228 teenage patients within 5 different treatment centers across America. The benefits of weight loss surgery for teens literally outweighed the benefits of adults who also underwent the procedure.
The average remission rate of type 2 diabetes in adults who underwent the procedure is within the 50%-70% range. However, that same remission rate among teenagers is at a much higher 90%. The hypertensive blood pressure rate also dropped at a higher rate with the average being 40% for adults and 70% for teens. What is it about teens that are so resilient in comparison to their adult counterparts?
A Hypothesis: Teenagers are More Resilient
None of us are made to live forever. The older we get, the more fragile we become. This is merely a fact of life and is evident in every life cycle. We start out weak, grow up stronger, and if we survive to old age, we die as weak as we came into the world. However, when children get closer to the age of adulthood, they are still in the middle of their growth cycle. That means that they will have more energy, resilience, and immunities than their elders. So, how does that translate to teens handling weight loss surgery better than adults?
Their Wounds Heal Faster
The first thing that most patients for weight loss surgery have to recover from is their surgical wounds. While technology in the field of bariatrics has certainly changed over the years to become less invasive, there is still always going to be internal and external bodily injuries on a patient. That is the nature of any surgical procedure. However, kids can usually recover from disease or heal from wounds faster than adults. And there is a genetic reason why that is.
As of 2012, two research teams in the US have discovered and confirmed the presence of a specific gene responsible for wound healing and tissue repair enhancement. “The scientists believe that the genes, called Lin28a and IMP1, are designed to be especially active during the fetal stages of development and are gradually turned off as an animal ages. Which could explain why wounds take longer to heal in the elderly and how aging occurs.”
So, it makes perfect sense that teenagers that have undergone weight loss surgery have been able to bounce back faster.
Restrictive Environments are Normal to Teenagers
Another reason why the results can work out better for them is that they have more supervision than adult patients. Once the surgery is complete and a program is set up for outpatient recovery, adults are usually left to their own devices. You still have a choice to follow the diet, and exercise program or not. Your life is not on pause or under severe scrutiny. At least not to the same level as a teenager, who is for all legal intents and purposes are still classified as children by the federal government.
Children are used to exposure to an environment that is, for the most part, controlled for them. While it is true not all children or teenagers are particularly thrilled with the concept, they are familiar enough with it to learn to live with a new diet and exercise routine getting enforced by doctors, and parents.
Whether you believe it is a good thing or not, it is up to opinion. However, this reinforces the resilient nature of teenagers in general. Especially after weight loss surgery.