Vivien Williams: Weight-loss surgery helps many obese adults lose weight and improve their health but is it right for kids? Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, Dr. Seema Kumar says in some cases, yes.

Seema Kumar, M.D., Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Mayo Clinic: Severely obese adolescents that have health complications that are related to their weight.

Vivien Williams: Complications such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, decreased mobility, joint pain and high cholesterol. Like any surgery, weight-loss operations are not risk-free.

Dr. Kumar: We want to offer the surgery only to teenagers that have really hard tried hard with medical measures aimed at cutting down caloric intake and increasing physical activity before we proceed with a surgical procedure.

Vivien Williams: If the decision is reached to have surgery, there are two options: the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, which reduces the size of your stomach and the amount of food to absorb, and sleeve gastrectomy, which reduces your stomach to the size of a man's thumb. And, again, Dr. Kumar says surgery is not the answer for all obese kids but for some it can mean improvement in health and self-esteem and an improved quality of life.

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.

Nov. 18, 2022