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Gastric Bands for Teenagers – Gauging the Safety and Effectiveness Quotient

Posted Jul 31 2010 11:05pm

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is lately taking into consideration expanding standards on gastric bands for including people in their adolescence (fourteen to seventeen years of age). Presently, the method has lawful approval for usage in weight loss for morbidly obese adult populaces in the ages of eighteen years or more. However, latest research findings have indicated that gastric banding, like Lap-Band has shown success in assisting teenagers with severe obesity issues.

Gastric BandsThe risk of adults facing death as a result of weight reduction surgery has dropped to less than one percent in the current years. But, researches done on teens that underwent such methods are uncommon. A scientific study, printed in the initial part of 2010 in the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ noted that gastric banding surgery lead to considerably greater weight reduction among teenagers with obesity issues in the age group of fourteen to seventeen years old as compared to following diets and exercising alone. During the 2-year spanning trial, the operative entrant group shed typically around seventy-six pounds whereas study set which followed lifestyle modifications shed 6.6 pounds. Stated differently, eighty-four percent of the gastric banding set shed over half of their surfeit pounds in comparison to merely twelve percent of the lifestyle modification set. Leading study investigator Doctor Paul E. O’Brien has dubbed the study outcome to be a major success.

Co-authoring the research, Prof. Susan Sawyer states that people in their adolescence deserve similar rights to access scientific interventions which show results just as adults.

Sawyer further mentions that till greater success is met with behavioural and medicinal strategies for treating such morbid obesity, the outcomes of the trial unambiguously support lap band procedure in regards to weight reduction and hence are truly suggestive of the fact that it requires to be taken into consideration, in the very least.

Scientists from the Univ. of New Mexico, Sue Kimm; Debbie Lawlor from Briston Univ., London and Joan Han from the United States NIH have suggested that weight reduction surgical procedures must be taken into consideration with acute precaution and merely for highly obese individuals with no other options left. This debate has only gathered momentum and has pitted the wary medical society against industry interests.

Must the FDA give its nod to this method, insurance service providers would most possibly including gastric band procedure in their cover which would make it a cash-spinning endeavour for weight reduction facilities and the manufacturers of gastric bands like Lap-Band. Advertisements that target teenagers on television, radio and the net is the subsequent rational move. Teenagers are an extremely vulnerable set in regards to promotions and giving guarantees.

Even though weight reduction surgery is beneficial in numerous scenarios, it has to be set aside for highly obese patients who have not meet with success in several attempts at losing pounds. Even as a fourteen-year-old might meet success after this surgical procedure, there is hardly any track-record of weight reduction endeavours via diets, exercising and lifestyle modifications for a person that young.

Hence, the bottom line is that parents as well as physicians would have to meticulously weigh the advantages and downsides when pondering over such a drastic step for adolescents.

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