Children's Hospital Colorado

Making the Decision

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Contact the Bariatric Surgery Center


Understanding severe obesity

It can be concerning to have a severely obese teen who has trouble losing weight. Severe obesity affects your teen both emotionally and physically. Because of the complexity of health conditions associated with severe obesity and potential risks, we use a multidisciplinary approach to treat obesity – so that we can address all aspects of your teen's health.

Learn more about severe obesity

Our families discuss their experience with severe obesity

One family shares how severe obesity has affected their life and how they made the decision to move forward with bariatric surgery.

Facts about severe obesity

Severely obese teens tend to have other health conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and bone and joint problems. Obese teens are also more likely to become obese adults with an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Research has shown that bariatric surgery may help to reverse certain obesity-related conditions, and it can have a positive impact on weight-related quality of life.

Infographic that says "Obesity can lead to high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, PCOS, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, depression, obstructive sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, fatty liver and skin problems." We use a multidisciplinary approach to treat obesity with a bariatric surgeon, endocrinologist, nurse practitioner, pediatric psychologist, registered dietitian, social worker, exercise physiologist, pulmonologist and gynecologist.

Bariatric surgery considerations

Before, during and after surgery care

We consider all aspects of our patient's lives when they are discussing bariatric surgery options with us, including their quality of life.

Is bariatric surgery right for your teen?

To be a candidate for bariatric surgery, your teen must meet certain criteria.

Lifestyle considerations

Bariatric surgery is an effective tool that can help your teen lose weight. But, it can only be successful if your teen commits to following our care team's recommendations before surgery, after surgery and beyond. Here is what your teen can expect at Children's Colorado.

A provider explaining forms to sign

Before bariatric surgery

  • Initial visit: medical, surgical, psychological and nutrition evaluations
  • Monthly medically managed weight loss visits
  • Insurance approval
  • Preoperative visit
Closeup of a surgeon's face

During bariatric surgery

  • Bariatric surgery lasts between two to four hours, depending on the type of bariatric surgery performed
  • One- to three-day hospital stay
A girl climbing stairs after bariatric surgery

After bariatric surgery

  • Two-week recovery at home
  • Transition of diet stages: liquid diet with protein to regular diet
  • Vitamins and supplements for life
  • Regular follow-up visits
  • Regular physical activity
  • Healthy eating for life
Closeup of Mona smiling
"I was already prediabetic, and I didn't want to have diabetes in a year."
Mona, patient who went through bariatric surgery

Additional bariatric surgery resources

Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.