Is Surgery the Right Option for Obese Children?
4/18/2012 2:08:10 AM -
I am horrified that people would consider gastric bands for American children. The FDA is considering approving these surgeries for children aged 14 to 17. These procedures are ill advised for young bodies who need all the nutrition they can get. True they are getting their nutrition from junk food, but do we really want them to get it from a smaller amount of junk food? Teenagers have enormous nutritional needs. Rather than limit their nutrition through gastric banding, we should improve their nutrition with quality foods.
Doesn't it make more sense to educate our children, and make good nutrition a part of good parenting? Parents and children alike are bombarded with marketing messages that promote poor eating. Correcting the miseducation of parents and children will take time but responsible governments need to make a start. We should not be the slaves of the food industry, nor a slave of the medical monopoly that promotes absurd money-making schemes like gastric banding that benefit only themselves.
Everyone is aware of the obesity crisis in America. Hopefully they are also aware of the dozens of illnesses that stem from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a long list of others. This should be addressed by every level of our culture--the schools, the religious organizations, the government and media, and even the medical monopoly. Health and slimness come from exercise and proper nutrition, not from surgery.
Problems with Gastric Bands
Gastric Bands are a last-resort solution for adults whose bodies have finished growing. Even among adults the results of gastric banding are poor. I'm guessing that placing a gastric band in a child's body will lead to more complications than when they are placed in an adult body.
Common complications (reported by the band manufacturer) in adults from gastric banding included:
34% had gastroesophageal reflux
24% had band slippage and/or pouch dilation, requiring further surgery
14% had stomach obstruction
11% had esophageal dilation and reduced esophageal function
9% had difficulty swallowing
9% had leaking or twisted access port into the stomach, requiring further surgery
1.3% experienced the band eroding into the stomach, requiring another surgery to remove the band
Please note: The information here is the author's personal opinion and not to be followed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your physician or primary health practitioner for information regarding your own personal health and necessary treatments.