Gastric Banding Surgery Works for Teens
Teens Who Got Surgery Lost More Weight Than Those Who Got Nonsurgical Treatment, Researchers Find
WebMD News Archive
Gastric Banding Better? Experts Weigh In
The new research confirms previous research, says John W. Baker, MD,
president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and
co-director of bariatric surgery, director of the medical weight loss program,
and director of the general surgery residency program at Baptist Health in
Little Rock, Ark.
"This is a randomized trial, that's an additional strength, [showing]
banding kids did better," he tells WebMD. However, he says, the study "is not
discounting the fact that medical treatment can help some."
In fact, the study ''has something for everybody," says Edward H.
Livingston, MD, professor and chairman of gastrointestinal and endocrine
surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who
wrote an editorial to accompany the study.
''You can have an impact on kids no matter what you do," he tells WebMD. The
teens in the lifestyle intervention group did not have nearly as much weight
loss as the banding group, he says, but they did have improvements in medical
conditions that can accompany excess weight, such as blood pressure
Another value of the research, he says, is to supply scientific evidence
that the banding does work for teens, information that is crucial for insurance
companies to have when considering whether to pay for the surgery.
The new study results are consistent with those by others that have looked
at adults, says Paresh C. Shah, MD, chief of laparoscopic services at Lenox
Hill Hospital in New York, who also reviewed the study for WebMD. But the
Australian researchers, he says, "have added to the experience and
understanding of the role for surgery in the most challenging and controversial
of patients, the obese adolescent."
Even so, he says, no one, including the researchers, promotes the surgery as
a cure. "It's the most effective long-term treatment modality," Shah says of
bariatric surgery. The researchers, he says, "are careful to emphasize surgery
is not a cure. There is still a lot of compliance necessary on the patient's
and family's behalf."