Weight loss surgery can reverse many of the ills that will shorten your life. Seventeen year old Chelsea Hale had her bariatric procedure and then went from 314 pounds to 170. Not only did she lose weight, she also lost coronary heart disease, a hormone problem and sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea causes shallow breathing and pauses in breathing while a person sleeps. Left untreated, sleep apnea may cause cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. Before her procedure, Chelsea had a heart blockage. A heart blockage compounded with sleep apnea meant that her life may have been very short. Being that young with such serious heart problems, Chelsea more than probably added years to her life by having a bariatric procedure.

Chelsea’s life improved after her bariatric operation. Her ailments subsided and she got into nursing school. Before the bariatric procedure, her movement was probably limited. Now she can be active and move with relative ease. Weight loss using a bariatric operation can give you mobility. Mobility that in turn gives you the ability to exercise. Exercise is a major component in being healthy. It is a synergy of good nutrition, weight loss and motion that will cause you to live much longer.

Chelsea’s story was related within a report about a trend in which teenagers are beginning to seek weight loss surgeries because they are experiencing health problems that used to only be present in elderly people. In the US government study, half the teens were experiencing serious health problems. Three quarters of them had high cholesterol. Half had high blood pressure. Many of them had damaged joints, kidneys and livers. Keep in mind that we are talking about very young people here – teenagers. The study exemplifies the damage obesity can inflict in a very short period of time at any age. The American Heart Association stated that weight loss procedures may be the most effective treatment for severe obesity in teenagers (children with a BMI of 35+).

Gastric Sleeve surgery (or any other bariatric procedure) should only be considered for teenagers with health problems related to obesity. Most healthy teenagers should be able to lose weight without a bariatric procedure. Every effort should be made to lose weight through diet and exercise before considering a bariatric operation, and those efforts should be made under high quality professional guidance. Bariatric procedures can save and extend an obese teenager’s life. But make no mistake about it, bariatric procedures are major operations and so carry risks. None of the 242 participating teenagers in this study died because of their bariatric procedure. Accidental injury to internal organs occurred in eight percent of patients. Minor bleeding and dehydration occurred in fifteen percent of patients. It was reported that some of the teenagers in this study developed food intolerances including dairy products, meat and sugar.

The article stated that parents who want an obesity operation for their teenager should have them evaluated by practitioners who do lots of these procedures. Did we mention that our doctor, Terry Simpson, is one of the most experienced weight loss surgeons in the world?

“Teens seeking obesity surgery have health woes previously only seen in adults.” Fox News.com. Associated Press, 04 Nov 2013. Web. 13 Feb 2014.