Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Gastric Banding Surgery Works for Teens

Teens Who Got Surgery Lost More Weight Than Those Who Got Nonsurgical Treatment, Researchers Find

Comparing Gastric Banding to Lifestyle Intervention continued...

TV and other screen time was limited to two hours a day, and a personal trainer was provided to each teen for a six-week period. Parents were involved in the lifestyle intervention and education.

The gastric banding group had the procedure done within a month of being assigned to the group. They got detailed instructions on correct eating -- for instance, having three or fewer small meals a day, eating slowly, and chewing well. They were urged to get 30 minutes or more of formal exercise every day and to keep active during the day.

Comparing Gastric Banding to Lifestyle Intervention

Twenty-four of the 25 teens in the surgery group and 18 of the 25 in the lifestyle group finished the study. Other results:

  • The gastric banding group lost an average of nearly 13 BMI units; the lifestyle intervention group lost 1.3 BMI units on average.
  • At the end of the study, none of the gastric banding group had metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of risk factors for heart disease and other ailments -- although nine had it at the start. Ten in the lifestyle group had metabolic syndrome at the start, and four of the 18 finishers did at the end.

For several reasons, the banding type of bariatric surgery is preferred over other procedures, such as gastric bypass surgery, O'Brien says. "It is gentle, safe, effective, and fully reversible," he says. "A 15-year-old will be 35 in 20 years' time. Surely we will have better ways to control weight by then. If he has a [gastric band] he can have it out, all goes back to normal, and, if needed, he can go on the new therapy. That cannot happen with procedures that create major and essentially irreversible change [such as bypass surgery]."

As good as the results were, the researchers note in their report that the surgery "is not a quick fix." In fact, 28% of teens in the surgery group needed revisions because of enlargement of the stomach or other factors. To avoid the enlargement problem, eating small meals is crucial, the researchers say.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd