Weight Loss

Metabolic, Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents Produces Lasting Results

Adults who underwent metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) at 21 years of age or younger for severe obesity had significant and long-lasting results in weight reduction and comorbidities, according to a new study.

The researchers sought to fill in the research gaps when looking at the lasting effects of MBS in adulthood as there was no current follow-up data that documents the impact of the surgery on this population.

For the study, the researchers had a total of 96 participants who completed MBS when they were 21 years of age or younger between 2002 to 2010. The participants were contacted for a telehealth visit where the researchers evaluated their body weight, comorbidity status, social/physical function status, and long-term complications 10 to 18 years post-surgery.

The median age of the participants involved in the study was 19 years of age with a range of 15 to 21 years of age, and the median pre-MBS BMI was 44.7 kg/m2 (SD 6.5). Participants underwent either Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB).

At follow-up (mean 14.2 [±2.2] years), participants who had RYGB reported a mean total body weight that decreased by 32.0% (interquartile range [IQR] 21.3% to 40.1%), and LAGB participants reported a 22.5% (IQR, 0.64% to 28.3%) mean total body weight decrease. Overall, the mean total body weight among participants decreased by 31.3% (IQR 20.0% to 38.9%).

Among patients who experienced hyperlipidemia (14.6%), asthma (10.4%), and diabetes/hyperglycemia (5.2%) before surgery, 100% reported remission at follow-up (P < 0.005 for all). Additionally, participants reported a post-surgery decrease of hypertension, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, anxiety, and depression.

“Significant sustained reductions in weight and comorbidities, and low rates of long-term complications, a decade or more after completing MBS as an adolescent were found,” the researchers concluded. “These findings have important implications for adolescents who may be considering MBS for weight reduction and overall health improvements that extend into adulthood.”


—Jessica Ganga


de la Cruz-Muñoz N, Xie L, Quiroz HJ, et al. Long-term outcomes after adolescent bariatric surgery. J Am Coll Surg. Published online September 15, 2022. doi: 10.1097/XCS.0000000000000325