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Bariatric Surgery Program Offers Option for Acute Adolescent Obesity

May 01, 2022
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An interdisciplinary team at Orlando Health Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Institute has developed a comprehensive treatment program designed specifically for pediatric patients suffering severe obesity.

One of only two centers in Florida certified to offer pre- and post-operative bariatric care to qualified adolescents, the institute specialists work in tandem with a pediatric team of experts to treat patients as young as 14 years old.

“Being pediatric certified means we offer a variety of resources, including a full pediatric lineup, to help our younger patients better manage their weight before, during and after procedures,” says Dr. Andre Teixeira, a nationally recognized, board-certified surgeon at Orlando Health Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Institute. “Our pediatric hospital is within walking distance of Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), making it convenient for our adolescent patients and their families.”

Andre Teixeira, MD
Andre Teixeira, MD

To be considered for bariatric surgery at Orlando Health, adolescent patients must be vetted by their pediatrician, have age-maturity bone structure and a BMI > 40 or BMI > 35 with serious comorbidities. Patients also must complete comprehensive psychological examinations and nutritional education with their families.

Early bariatric intervention in severe pediatric obesity has gained support of the American Academy of Pediatrics as a means to reduce juvenile morbidity and mortality. “Acute obesity in adolescence can result in diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other diseases that can become chronic into adulthood if left untreated,” says Dr. Teixeira.

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While most criteria for surgery follows that of adult bariatric patients, family must be present for pediatric therapy. “Family support is an integral part of our program,” says Dr. Teixeira. “We want everyone fully on board to give our patients the best success possible.”

Orlando Health is recognized as a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent Accreditation under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Orlando Health hospitals are considered among the nation’s best through the IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals study for 2021.

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