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Study on Teenage Weight Loss Surgery Highlights the Benefits and Risks of Bariatric Surgery in Young Patients, Notes Dr. Michael Feiz

According to an article published November 6th by Time, the results of a recent study showed that teenagers who elected weight loss surgery saw impressive results, both in terms of overall weight lost and the likelihood that they would rid themselves of obesity related diseases, such as diabetes. The study also identified some common risks associated with the procedure, the most prevalent of which was an iron deficiency in the years following the surgery. According to Los Angeles bariatric surgeon Michael Feiz M.D., F.A.C.S., this study is illustrative of the larger conversation revolving around teenagers and bariatric surgery, namely, that it can be hugely beneficial for obese teens with no other options, but should not be viewed as a first choice for youths who have yet to try losing weight through more conventional methods.

  • Risks – Dr. Feiz says that, first and foremost, patients should be aware that the gastric sleeve, the most popular weight loss surgery procedure, is permanent in its results. While this fact may be comforting for many patients who previously wondered how they would be able to maintain their weight loss results for life, it also means that it truly is a lifelong decision that requires a great deal of consideration, especially with younger patients. Dr. Feiz explains that, while the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies and other complications can certainly be reduced when patients trust in a qualified surgeon and medical team, they nonetheless exist.
  • Benefits – However, Dr. Feiz is quick to point out that with the majority of obese patients, the benefits of weight loss surgery far outweigh the risks. In this particular study, the teens lost an average of 90 pounds from a 330 pound starting point. Dr. Feiz explains that this study is fairly typical of the results the patients experience, with most patients seeing around a 50 percent reduction in their excess body fat in the years following their procedure. This, in turn, can lead to the prevention or remission of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, which are the larger health dangers that obese patients face.

Dr. Feiz concludes that the main reason why doctors are slow to recommend weight loss surgery for teenagers is not that it isn’t effective, but because many teenage patients simply haven’t had enough time to know for sure if losing weight through diet and exercise alone isn’t an option for them. Anyone interested in learning more about weight loss surgery, or seeing the results that patients of Dr. Feiz have seen, can call Dr. Feiz and Associates at 800-868-5946 or visit the medical center online at

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