journal contributionposted on 11.10.2012, 00:00 by Mark J. Holterman, Ai-Xuan Le Holterman, Allen F. Browne
Obesity is a serious life-threatening disease that affects an increasing number of children in the developed world. Obese children suffer in many physical and psychosocial ways and their burden has important consequences to our society. Whereas obesity prevention is the ultimate goal, currently and into the foreseeable future, there will be a significant subset of our children suffering from significant life-altering weight comorbidities. Currently, non-surgical weight loss strategies have met with very limited success but weight management clinics that offer a surgical treatment option have been effective at achieving sustained weight loss and resolution of weight-related comorbidities. A collaborative multidisciplinary approach to the management and care of obese children is essential for success. Choosing a weight loss surgical strategy for children and adolescents should be patient specific and based on their age, severity of comorbidities and their BMI. We have developed a treatment algorithm for the care of obese adolescents as well as a plan for the development of aggressive treatment options for obese preteen aged children based on the limited existing literature and our experience treating adolescents and children at The New Hope Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Clinic between 2005 and 2011 at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. (3) As surgeons we must continually test our treatments, evaluate our results, and improve the care we offer our patients.