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Teenage gastric bypass surgery and future complications

In a long term follow up study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology it has been found that gastric bypass surgery helps severely obese teenagers keep weight off. The study aimed to assess the long-term effects of gastric bypass and any complications that were associated with this type of surgery. The study showed that whilst bypass surgery dramatically reduces teenagers’ weight, it could also lead to complications such as vitamin deficiencies. The researchers also found that, even though large weight loss had occurred, a third of the teenagers remained obese – meaning that earlier intervention may be needed along with lifestyle and dietary changes.

The lead author, Dr Thomas Inge, stressed that the study clearly showed the long-term benefits of bariatric surgery; however several nutritional risks have also been highlighted. The aim now is to focus on the health advantages whilst minimising these risks. It is clear that long-term follow up and care must be provided by centres that perform gastric bypass in teenagers, as the complications that follow could cause more problems in the future.

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