SHOULD LAP BANDS TO TREAT OBESITY BE USED IN TEENAGERS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORT
Lap bands are a popular surgical treatment for obesity, where a plastic device is placed around the stomach to restrict its size and reduce food intake. Now an FDA advisory committee has recommended approving use of this device in obese teenagers. Thomas Magnusen, director of obesity surgery at Johns Hopkins, generally approves.
MAGNUSEN: In terms of kids there’s a lot of data now showing that the bands work well, that they’re safe, and we’re talking adolescents here, 16, 17 year olds. If you have an adolescent who’s 500 pounds who has diabetes, and hypertension, if you don’t do something that patient is going to be an adult with real bad diabetes and is going to die of their obesity problem so if you can intervene while they’re younger actually the outcomes are much better. Because you can get rid of the diabetes quicker because when they’re young and avoid the outcomes like heart failure or kidney failure. If you’re going to treat them you might as well do it when they’re younger when you can avoid much of the end organ damage from that disease. :32
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.