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Weight Loss Surgery for Teens

Our Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery program is specially designed for teens with serious weight problems and their families. The programs goals are:

  • To help you make an informed and responsible decision about whether and when to have weight loss surgery.
  • To make sure that surgery is as effective and safe as possible for those who have it.

The program has several stages:

Evaluation visit – Individual meetings with a doctor, dietitian (nutritionist) and psychologist, all specializing in weight management.

  • Doctor – Looks closely for reasons why the patient or family members gain weight easily, whether there are weight-related medical problems. This includes an in-depth consultation and blood tests.
  • Dietitian – Learns about your preferences and usual habits for food and physical activity, which will help to guide choices for healthy change.
  • Psychologist – Looks for how mood, emotional stress, and other challenges might interfere with healthy choices, and helps to develop ideas for solving these problems.

Program visits – Varies in length, usually at least six to 12 months.

  • Start with individual monthly meetings with your team dietitian and psychologist
  • Transition to the group program, which works on specific information and skills for navigating weight loss surgery
  • Meet with the surgeon, discuss benefits and risks, and surgical options. The surgeon is a highly experienced bariatric (Weight Loss) surgeon, who works closely with the pediatric Weight Center team.

Surgery and follow up – Weight loss surgery for teens is done at MassGeneral Hospital, with a specialized team of surgeons and nurses. For teens, most surgery dates are scheduled during the early summer, or school vacations.

Teens and families are followed closely by their Weight Center team after surgery. The visits are frequent during the first few months after surgery, then at least once a year after that.

The Mass General Weight Center also offers a Medical Nutrition Program that offers non-surgical approaches to weight management.