Expanding Use of Bariatric Surgery in Pediatrics

Expansion of data on the use of bariatric surgery has led to an expansion of the pediatric population, but some GPs may still have doubts about its ultimate usefulness.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Marc P. Michalsky, MD, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, spoke about the delay in clinical use of bariatric surgery, there is no need for updated guidelines to help grow primary care use.

dr. Michalsky recently presented a talk entitled “Adolescent Bariatric Surgery – What Every Pediatrician Needs to Know: Research, Consensus Guidelines, Accreditation and Ongoing Challenges,” at the 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics Virtual Meeting.

“The most important part of the challenge is to actually help bring recommendations and consensus guidelines back to primary care awareness to help healthcare providers understand that bariatric surgery is an important tool to help manage the pediatric population suffering from the most severe forms of body mass. said Michalsky.

In addition, Michalsky pointed to a multitude of comorbid conditions that result from a high body mass index (BMI) and a reduction in these conditions after bariatric surgery.

He pointed to the legitimacy of questioning the implications of surgery on a more vulnerable time frame in patients, but explained the growing body of data in support of pediatric bariatric surgery.

“I’m circling back to this issue of reversing comorbidity and the likelihood that a patient will no longer be hypertensive or no longer have diabetes,” he said. “If we compare that, or those measures, to matched adult groups, we see that the pediatric patients actually do better.”

Michalsky also discussed the results of pediatric patients with a severely high BMI measure, noting that diet and exercise or behavior modification are not guaranteed results in losing excess fat.

“If you look at individuals dealing with a BMI of 35 or higher, the chances of sustaining a significant reduction are very low,” Michalsky said. “The short-term and even long-term success in terms of sustaining body mass loss is far more impressive than non-surgical techniques.

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