Adolescent Weight Loss Programs

Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term health effects. Adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for health problems such as heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis. Addressing obesity at a younger age can help prevent these types of obesity-related illnesses.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery is the first and only center in Maryland to earn accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) as a Comprehensive Center with Adult and Adolescent Qualifications. Our multidisciplinary program focuses on the unique needs of adolescents aged 16 through young adulthood to help teens develop healthy lifestyle habits and prepare them for bariatric surgery, and also provides post-surgical weight management strategies. We offer medical, nutritional, educational and behavioral support through a team of dieticians, psychologists, nurses and surgeons who work with each patient and their parents or guardians to create a customized weight loss treatment plan.

Who is a Candidate for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery?

Before considering weight loss surgery at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery, you will need to attempt weight loss through six months of supervised dietary management. This process will involve input and oversight by your primary care provider or pediatrician. Once you complete this process, you’ll meet with a bariatric surgeon for further evaluation.

Adolescent weight loss surgery candidates should:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or 35-39.9 with obesity-related medical conditions, such as type II diabetes, sleep apnea or high blood pressure
  • Be aged 16 to young adult
  • Obtain a letter of medical necessity from their pediatrician
  • Agree to avoid pregnancy for at least 18 months after surgery
  • Have a supportive family environment
  • Attend an information session with a parent or guardian
  • Be willing to undergo comprehensive medical evaluation and psychological counseling before and after surgery
  • Be capable of and willing to adhere to nutritional guidelines after surgery
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