Teens having major surgery to lose weight? Do you agree or disagree? My initial thought was, "that is just not right." But after reading this story, I am not sure." This poor girl was 340 pounds. That's life threatening. If it's a teenager that will likely die if they don't have weight loss surgery, I am not sure I am against that. Although there needs to be a program in place to make sure the teenager doesn't gain the weight back. Do you agree or disagree with teen weight loss surgery?
Here's the story from NBC: Some teens are going to drastic measures to control their weight. Doctors have seen an increase in the number of young people.. turning to things like gastric bypass and lap band procedures. But is that the right decision at such a young age?
For as long as she can remember Ivannia Hernandez lived with a heavy burden. "I would walk in the hallways with my head down." Always overweight, by 17 she weighed almost 340 pounds. "I thought that people weren't really looking at me, they were kinda looking at everything around me I guess, so..yeah..."
She says she tried to lose weight. "I've been to so many programs, so many weight loss programs, I've been to the gym, and it was just like, I was never seeing results." But finally turned to surgery. "I was kinda freaked out because I was 17 yrs old and here I am, I've never had a single operation in my whole life." Four years after gastric bypass she weighs 150 pounds less. One of a growing number of teens choosing so-called Bariatric surgery for weight loss.-some as young as 14.
Dr. Gonzalez: "The bottom line is that when these patients have reached 300 lbs and they're adolescents and they have full bone maturity, they really act like adults." The increase in surgeries comes as childhood obesity reaches epidemic proportions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 12 and a half million kids aged 2 to 19 are now considered obese... almost triple the number from 1980. But doctors caution weight loss surgery is no magic bullet at any age. And should only be used as a last resort warning for some teens it could mean a lifetime of complications
Dr. Wulkan: "It's not a quick fix- even long term any of these children need to maintain themselves on vitamins and nutritional supplements because of the surgery. its a big deal." At Child Health Care of Atlanta, teens have to go through a months long program including psychological counseling before even being considered for surgery. Dr. Mark Wulkan: "This isnt to make you pretty for the prom, but the children we see are going to die young if we don't do something."
For Ivannia, it was that life and death decision that she says finally gave her a life. "I think that I took the best risk of my life and it actually came out to be a blessing in disguise. I'm here, and I'm happy, I'm enjoying life to the fullest."
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