Metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) is a safe and effective treatment option for adolescents with severe obesity, but no long-term studies are available with more than10 years of follow-up data to document sustained improved outcomes.
A total of 96 patients who completed MBS at 21 years of age or younger in a tertiary academic center 2002 to 2010 were contacted for a telehealth visit. Body weight, comorbidity status, social/physical function status, and long-term complications were evaluated 10 to 18 years after surgery.
Mean participant (83% female, 75% Hispanic) age at MBS was 18.8 (±1.6) years (median age 19 years, range 15–21 years), and median pre-MBS BMI was 44.7 kg/m2 (SD 6.5). At follow-up (mean 14.2 [±2.2] years) post-MBS (90.6% Roux-en-Y gastric bypass [RYGB] or 8.3% laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding [LAGB]) mean total body weight decreased by 31.3% (interquartile range [IQR] 20.0% to 38.9%); 32.0% (IQR, 21.3% to 40.1%) among RYGB participants and 22.5% (IQR, 0.64% to 28.3%) among LAGB participants. Patients with pre-MBS hyperlipidemia (14.6%), asthma (10.4%), and diabetes/hyperglycemia (5.2%) reported 100% remission at follow-up (p < 0.05 for all). Pre–post decrease in hypertension (13.5% vs 1%, p = 0.001), sleep apnea (16.7% vs 1.0%, p < 0.001), gastroesophageal reflux disease (13.5% vs 3.1%, p = 0.016), anxiety (7.3% vs 2.1%, p = 0.169), and depression (27.1% vs 4.2%, p < 0.001) were also found.
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. These findings have important implications for adolescents who may be considering MBS for weight reduction and overall health improvements that extend into adulthood.