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AAP News: More children having metabolic and bariatric surgery

By Melissa Jenco

The number of adolescents having metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) at children’s hospitals is rising, according to a new study.

“Thus, pediatric centers should be prepared to care for this special group of patients, both from a clinical and logistical standpoint,” authors wrote in a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The findings come as obesity rates are increasing. About 18.5% of U.S. children ages 2-19 years have obesity, meaning their body mass index (BMI) is at or above the 95th percentile for their age and sex. About 6% of children have severe obesity, meaning their BMI is at or above 120% of the 95th percentile or is at least 35 kg/m2, according to the study.

Researchers from Children’s Mercy Kansas City set out to look at the rates of children ages 10-18 years undergoing MBS by using 2012-’16 data from the Inpatient Essentials database. They estimate the case counts they found account for about 20% to 25% of the national cases. During the study period, the database showed 859 adolescents underwent MBS at 39 children’s hospitals, with three hospitals performing nearly half of the surgeries.

Over the course of the study, MBS rates rose from 126 to 220 per year.

They expect rates of MBS to keep increasing.

“These findings may serve as useful benchmarks for newly developed and existing MBS programs within children’s hospitals,” they wrote. “Future studies are needed to identify patient characteristics associated with both positive and negative surgical outcomes to identify patients best suited for MBS and potential areas for improvements or prevention of adverse events and readmissions.”


Read the full story via AAP News

Read the full study via the Journal of Adolescent Health

Learn more about the Weight Management Program at Children's Mercy