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RNY for Children - Thoughts?



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Reading an article about a study that Duke University did on teens that have RNY. Basically just determining whether it would be beneficial to do it at such a young age or not. Apparently children younger than TWELVE YEARS OLD have had this done. No comorbidities were required necessarily. They indicated the surgery didn't affect growth.

I personally feel like unless the teenager is diabetic or has another serious condition related to obesity, they shouldn't be allowed to have the surgery because they probably can't understand the lifelong impact and requirements that the diet needs. I am not sure. It makes me feel unsettled that they would perform this surgery on a 12 year old. And if you're very young, have you really personally had the opportunity to take it upon yourself to make your own lifestyle changes before having this permanently-altering procedure? You're still likely eating what your parents buy you and don't have the independence or self-awareness to make your own lifestyle choices. I know if I had met the criteria for RNY has a teenager I would have jumped on it, and likely sabotaged myself horribly because I was not remotely mature enough or mentally prepared to make these kinds of changes in my life. I don't knowwww. I don't argue the point that it is "safe and effective" but is a child (especially prepubescent??!!) truly psychologically ready to make that decision/commitment? Shouldn't they have the opportunity to live independently for a while and see if they can make changes on their own to lose weight without being underneath their caregivers?

What are your thoughts on pre-teens and teenagers having RNY?

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2019-10-28/kids-severely-obese-weight-loss-surgery-pediatricians

Edited by mousecat88

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I agree with you, way to young to understand the implications!

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WLS is sometimes to complicated for grown people..... how will a 12 y/o understand this..... I would say the cut off should be 18.

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12 year olds don’t buy and cook their own food. If they have severe weight issues it is usually ( but not always) the fault of the parents.

A whole family focused solution that focuses on shopping habits, food preparation and healthy habits such as exercise should be used before any form of surgery is considered.

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1 minute ago, elcee said:

12 year olds don’t buy and cook their own food. If they have severe weight issues it is usually ( but not always) the fault of the parents.

A whole family focused solution that focuses on shopping habits, food preparation and healthy habits such as exercise should be used before any form of surgery is considered.

Exactly - maybe older teenagers I could see considering it for because they could understand the lifelong implications, but a 12 year old (or younger apparently!) shouldn't be held responsible for his/her dietary and exercise habits. That is the fault of an enabling family.

I am barring medical reasons, of course.

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Teach your kids to eat healthy - My 19 yr old has dropped 75 pounds in 6 months. Happens once you get those first boobies in your life. He was on of the major reasons i did the surgery! There is not a chance in hell i would let me kids do this surgery.

Now since he went Cross Train Nuts and healthy my younger is following: and Mom is under control with her carb cooking and Serving sizes managed. Since they live with me full time they get a healthy meal every day, For example went fishing yesterday I have a good amount of a good food to feed them. You cant find a box or bag of any processed food in my house, and to me that was the problem. I just wish i would have done this 5 years back but better we 3 are on the right track.

My two are dang mini adults and there is no way they could make this decision let alone younger ones.

fish.jpg

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IDK. If we are classifying obesity as a disease and metabolic surgery as the cure then shouldn't it be available as an option.

Tons of radical life saving treatments are performed on children without their permission or understanding of future ramifications.

I'm not certain I could watch my child suffer for years and years if there are better options available

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2 hours ago, GreenTealael said:

IDK. If we are classifying obesity as a disease and metabolic surgery as the cure then shouldn't it be available as an option.

Tons of radical life saving treatments are performed on children without their permission or understanding of future ramifications.

I'm not certain I could watch my child suffer for years and years if there are better options available

I gotta agree.

I do get that lifestyle factors play a part, obviously. However, if a person is morbidly obese (not chunky, overweight or babyfat, but quite literally deadly overweight) at 12(!) the outlook long term of that resolving for them for a whole LIFETIME via some simple family changes is not good. Making changes in the household could, no doubt, help some- maybe- for a period of time. (And that is if the child is lucky enough to be in a family that is willing/capable of making those changes long term. Many can't or won't for complex reasons of their own.)

Now, that said, not every 12 year old is the same emotionally and in maturity level. I agree some 12 year olds are not able to grasp the commitment/ considerations we all wrestled with when, as adults, we chose this option.

I am also willing to bet those same 12 year olds are not able to grasp the ramifications, lifelong impact and damage to their mental/ physical wellbeing that years of morbid obesity starting in childhood causes either...

I guess I would not want to leave my child with years of long struggle with a disease, all the while damaging their health, just so they could make that choice possibly later as an adult instead. Morbid obesity got its name for a reason.

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4 hours ago, GreenTealael said:

IDK. If we are classifying obesity as a disease and metabolic surgery as the cure then shouldn't it be available as an option.

Tons of radical life saving treatments are performed on children without their permission or understanding of future ramifications.

I'm not certain I could watch my child suffer for years and years if there are better options available

I agree. Obesity is classified as a disease.

I wish I’d been able to have surgery at 16. It would have probably been healthier than developing anorexia to lose weight, which I then regained a couple of years later and held onto for 26 years. To get those years back and have my body not go through the wear and tear of obesity for all of that time? Not to mention the mental damage inflicted due to societal bias?

Yeah, I’d take it in a heartbeat. And I would not want to watch my children suffer through what I endured at that age. NOPE.

Edited by AngieBear

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On the face of it that seems extreme.

I was fat when I was a kid and I think if someone had helped me with my relationship with food I would have slimmed down naturally instead of getting morbidly obese as an adult.

But I had lots of emotional problems that contributed to my weight gain..

I am assuming these children are morbidly obese so maybe this surgery in conjunction with a lot of counseling both emotional and dietary is necessary.

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@mousecat88I would put this in the category if they are old enough to choose their own gender assignment without parent's approval like most states, they can decide they want the surgery. I personally believe the person should be 18 unless it's life threatening.

Edited by Panda333

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2 hours ago, Panda333 said:

I would put this in the category if they are old enough to choose their own gender assignment without parent's approval like most states

Personally, I don't think children should be allowed to have gender 'changing' surgery. This is another area where I think that they need to be fully grown adults.

I realize people may not agree, this is just my opinion. If either of my kids had wanted something like this, I would have insisted they wait until they were out of puberty.

I would want them fully aware of firm, absolute decisions on gender and not possibly something that is more just trying to figure out who they are and what they prefer (experimenting). Changing your gender is no joke either.

However, that being said since I haven't been in that position and I have heard stories of how desperate some young people are, I will be honest and say that while I've stated my opinion, if it had actually happened, I can 'allow' that maybe my answer would be different, but I definitely do not feel ANYTHING would change my mind if my child was 12 (or any age under 16).

On the whole 'should kids be allowed to have WLS' - I think we go back to the point of who is enabling these kids. I'd want to see that controlled or fixed first before any child undergoing surgery. If they are facing life or death consequences due to their weight...well crud...I'd wonder why we'd leave a child in a home where they are being allowed to jeopardize their health to the point of possibly dying but that is another can of worms (do we classify people who enable a child to weigh 300+ lbs at the age of 12 or 13 as being neglectful? I would say so)..

Again, this is just my opinion for my own family.

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I think a serious analysis of the household would be needed. If the child has the surgery but then is sent back to the same environment where he is surrounded by the same types of food and no real support or understanding, that's basically a setup for disaster or at minimum a future revision. I also don't agree that gender changing decisions should be made prior to age 18 for similar reason - lifelong impact without a full grasp of implications. I would certainly, in both situations, have the individual be (for the most part) out of puberty. Yes, I realize your brain continues developing for some time after, etc. It just makes me feel.... uncomfortable. Again, I think I would be more amenable to it if the child was exhibiting serious comorbidities but I was super morbidly obese for years without any (except pseudo tumor cerebri just a few months before I had RNY) so, it's not as if everyone needs the surgery immediately. I'd like to see the child have the chance to make the lifestyle changes on their own as an adult if they didn't have comorbidities. Give them a chance to change without the surgery.

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I don't think a 12 year old should be having this surgery. Especially since at that age the parents are responsible for buying and preparing food. My obesity problems started when I was in high school and as upperclassmen we had the option of off campus lunch which I fully took advantage of and went out for fast food 5 days a week. From there bad eating habits spiraled. Now after having surgery my tastes have totally changed. Food is way more flavorful and sugary items are way too sweet for me.

Our brains don't stop growing until our early 20s so the ability for a 12 year old to fully comprehend this surgery would take some serious therapy IMO. I'm 35 and just had this surgery and I'm constantly reminding myself that I can't eat the way I used to when I actually do eat. I have to force myself to eat everyday because I'm not hungry, ever.

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I think this is a decision for each family to make together with their care teams, rather than a blanket yes/no allowance. I do think there are instances where a child could successfully benefit from the surgery, and others where it would definitely not be a good idea, but I would imagine the majority of medical teams would be able to work with the families to make the determinations on a case by case basis. I don't know these people or their stories, so I feel it is not my place to pass judgment on their decisions.

From a personal standpoint, I wish I'd had the option of WLS when I was younger, at least as a teenager. Whether I would have pushed for it or not, it would have been good to have a care team that was knowledgeable enough and concerned enough to have the conversation in the first place, and the conversation alone may have been enough to help me begin to understand the severity of my issues.

Also I feel that the gender reassignment comparison is a red herring - they are very different issues, and the only reliable commonality is whether a decision is made to perform surgery on someone under 18.

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