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Minimally Invasive Weight-Loss Surgery Improves Health of Morbidly Obese Teens

New Findings by Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center Show Obesity-Related Complications Improve Six Months Following Gastric Banding Procedure

NEW YORK (Jun 18, 2008)

Teenagers' obesity-related medical complications improve just six months after laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, according to outcomes data presented this week. The preliminary results by physician-scientists from Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center were presented on June 17 at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The study reports that the small group of extremely obese teenagers who received the minimally invasive surgery, also called the Lap-Band procedure, as part of a clinical trial lost an average of 20 pounds after six months and had significant improvements in abdominal fat, triglyceride measurements (levels of fat in the blood) and blood sugar levels as measured by hemoglobin A1c — all risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. The patients' liver function and a measure of immune response also improved, according to the abstract.

"Extremely obese teenagers have obesity-related health problems, particularly diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk. Laparoscopic gastric banding, which has been shown to be a safe and effective way to lose weight, now offers the possibility of reducing obesity's medical complications," says lead author Dr. Ilene Fennoy, a pediatric endocrinologist at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian and clinical professor of pediatrics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Until recently, these patients have had to rely primarily on non-surgical methods or higher-risk surgeries to lose weight, and few of these treatments have succeeded in achieving major weight loss or greatly improving their overall health."

The Lap-Band procedure, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults but not yet in teenagers, involves making the stomach smaller without staples. Instead, a band is place around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch that restricts food intake. The surgeon implants a small access port, and after the surgery the doctor periodically adjusts the gastric band by inflating or deflating a saline-filled balloon that lies inside the band. If desired, the procedure is reversible. Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is one of three sites in the nation approved to study this procedure in teens.

The study, which is part of the multidisciplinary FDA-approved Lap-Band Trial for Teens being performed at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center, followed 14 adolescents — six boys and eight girls — between the ages of 14 and 17 who were, on average, 174 pounds overweight. Patients received dietary counseling and encouragement to exercise, both before and after surgery.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia's College of Physicians & Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree. Among the most selective medical schools in the country, the school is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit www.cumc.columbia.edu.

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian

Ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the top children's hospitals in the country, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and the largest provider of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide.

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Belinda Mager
Phone: (212) 305-5587.
bem9048@nyp.org
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