Short-term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery in Teens

William T. Basco, Jr., MD, MS


March 17, 2014

Perioperative Outcomes of Adolescents Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: The Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) Study

Inge TH, Zeller MH, Jenkins TM; Teen-LABS Consortium
JAMA Pediatrics. 2014;168:47-53

Study Summary

Compared with nonsurgical interventions, surgical approaches to weight reduction appear to have greater success at substantial reduction in body mass Index (BMI). Although bariatric surgery is not commonly performed in adolescents, the procedure has been gaining acceptance in that population for selected patients.

This study was a prospective, longitudinal effort to follow the outcomes of adolescent bariatric surgery completed at 5 medical centers in the United States. The patients were all ≤ 19 years of age and treated between 2007 and 2011.

The care plans were determined by each institution, but all surgeons were trained in uniform data collection for the study. Study personnel collected preprocedure data at an in-person interview of the patients. They also completed chart reviews, physical examinations, and repeat patient interviews as part of the follow-up procedures.

Perioperative outcomes of interest were "major complications," defined as any complication that was life-threatening, had the potential to cause permanent harm, any organ loss, any reoperation, receipt of a blood transfusion, or any major deviation from the anesthesia or operative plan. "Minor complications" were unplanned events, such as organ laceration, procedures that had to be revised during the primary operation, any injury to adjacent structures, or failure to be discharged on oral feedings only (meaning, discharged on either supplemental intravenous or tube feedings).

During the first 30 days after the procedure, the investigators also collected data on the frequencies of major and minor complications. Major complications in the 30 days after surgery were any that were life-threatening, had potential for permanent harm, or any reoperation in the abdominal cavity. Minor complications included endoscopic interventions, use of nonoral or parenteral nutrition at the 30-day postoperation point, or readmission to the hospital for any reason.


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