Children's Hospital Colorado

AAP Policy Statement on Bariatric Surgery (S3:E16)

Pediatric patients ages 13 to 18 years old with severe obesity should have greater access to bariatric surgery, according to a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement.

For pediatricians, the policy recommendations suggest seeking out high-quality multidisciplinary centers for patients who meet criteria for bariatric surgery. Pediatricians should also provide timely referrals and facilitate care before and after surgery for adolescents with severe obesity, which is defined as a body mass index (BMI) ≥35 or ≥120% of the 95th percentile for age and sex, whichever is lower.

The policy statement, and a supporting technical report, were simultaneously published in Pediatrics.

Listen to a pediatric surgeon discuss the bariatric surgery recommendation

In this episode, we talk with Thomas Inge, MD, to discuss the new AAP policy statement on bariatric surgery. Dr. Inge is the former Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and former Director of the Center for Bariatric Surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado.

This episode of Charting Pediatrics was recorded live from the 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics NCE in New Orleans.

In this episode, our expert discusses:

  • The AAP’s policy statement and technical report regarding adolescent bariatric surgery
  • Reasons why this endorsement from the AAP matters and the work that was involved in getting this endorsement
  • Some of the most recent findings about the efficacy of bariatric surgery on teenagers
  • How surgery can reverse conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension
  • The various interventions that should be considered before surgery
  • The need for more facilities with a multidisciplinary approach to obesity treatment
  • The importance of using all modalities available to communicate, inform and educate people on obesity
  • The cost implications of bariatric surgery and why employers play a big role in accessibility
  • How bariatric surgery changes the lives of patients and the high return on investment
  • The diverse range of biochemical pathways that cause obesity and the different types
  • Removal of the portion of the stomach that is central to ghrelin production
  • Advice on how primary care providers should proceed with patients with severe obesity

Treatment of severe obesity at Children’s Colorado

Our Bariatric Surgery Center takes a multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of obesity, collaborating with experts from lifestyle medicine, pediatric surgery, endocrinology, nutrition and pediatric psychology. Our team is led by some of the most experienced bariatric surgeons in the U.S. for the surgical treatment of adolescent obesity. We've been performing bariatric surgeries since 2001 and have pioneered the surgical standard for adolescent bariatric surgery.

Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.