HEALTH WATCH: Even children getting gastric by-passes

 
292Views 4Comments Posted 19/07/2017

By Michael Greger MD

WEIGHT LOSS  surgery for children and adolescents is becoming widespread and is being performed in children as young as five years old. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common type of procedure, in which surgeons cut out nearly the entire stomachBariatric surgery in pediatric patients does result in weight loss, but also has the potential for serious complications. These include pulmonary embolism, shock, intestinal obstruction,  ostoperative bleeding, leaking along the staple line, severe malnutrition, and even death at a rate of 0.5%. This means that 1 in 200 kids who go under the knife may die. Infection is identified as the leading cause of death and is most often associated with leaking of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity.

Sometimes the surgery doesn’t work, and you have to go in and do another procedure. If that doesn’t work either, you can always try implanting electrodes into patients’ brains, a “novel antiobesity strategy” reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

The concept of deep brain stimulation “since its inception has been that placing an electrode somewhere in the brain could make people eat less.” You drill two little holes in the patient’s skull, snake in some electrodes a few inches, and then tunnel the wires under the scalp into a pulse generator implanted under the skin on the chest. You evidently can’t crank it up past 5 volts because it induces anxiety and nausea. But even without the nausea, people with electrodes stuck in their brains lost an average of about 10 pounds a year.

The childhood obesity epidemic is so tragic. It pains me to see insult piled on injury. Too often, medical treatments can be worse than the disease.



Comments 4

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Garlicball

The finger-pointing blame game regarding obesity has been played for how long -- 10, 15 years? More intense arguments conclude by blaming victims lack of exercise, inactivity,and hearty consumption of the cast of regular items: processed food, anything called food containing the new food devil: high-fructose corn syrup. I see the 'fat' issue through a myopic lens. I call it an epidemic. Epidemics have one or two common elements. In this instance we have (1) meat & poultry producers, and (2) corporate farms and food processing plants. I will target meat/poultry producers use of growth hormones which are passed to the human consumer. Then food processing companies producing plastic food. The most serious is food still containing growth hormones. Hormones in the food chain. It's universal. Recall the last time you saw a fat vegetarian?

Last year
user
Richard Charron

You would think it would be obvious to all that the cure is not to treat the symptoms, (given the extreme nature of the operation) but rather the cause. I repeat the entire world is going nuts in so many ways.

Last year
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Claire

Now it's not just adult obesity. No doubt the childhood obesity is caused by inactivity and eating packaged foods and drinks filled with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

Last year
user
Richard Charron

The entire world is going nuts.

Last year
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