(HealthDay News) – Half of severely obese adolescents who undergo weight-loss surgery have several major comorbid conditions, but the short-term safety profile of the surgery is positive, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues examined clinical characteristics and safety in 242 patients (≤19 years) who underwent weight-loss surgery from 2007–2011 by laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or adjustable gastric banding.

The researchers found that the mean body mass index was 50.5kg/m², and 51% of patients had four or more major comorbid conditions. Although there were no deaths during hospitalization or within 30 days of surgery, 8% of patients had major complications (re-operation) and 15% of patients had minor complications (re-admission for dehydration). All major complications and 85% of minor complications were related to the surgery.

“In this series, adolescents with severe obesity presented with abundant comorbid conditions,” Inge and colleagues write. “We observed a favorable short-term complication profile, supporting the early postoperative safety of weight-loss surgery in select adolescents.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Full Text