Adolescent Bariatric Surgery 

Adolescent Bariatric Surgery

Adolescent Bariatric Surgery 

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital1 offers a program for teens and young adults who have severe obesity and have been unsuccessful with medically managed weight loss.


The obesity rate in children is rapidly rising, reaching close to 18%. In the United States, 1% to 2% of children are morbidly obese.2 Teens struggling with weight management can suffer psychologically as well as physically. Participation in a pediatric bariatric program can help treat your child’s obesity and its complications.

Almost 90% of adolescents who are obese grow up to be morbidly or severely obese, resulting in higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, kidney disease, episodic migraine, and liver and gallbladder disease. Left unmanaged, obesity can also cause cardiovascular, orthopaedic, fertility and pregnancy problems.

Because obesity may present long-term threats to your child’s health, bariatric surgery may be the appropriate solution for weight loss.

The Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program offers surgical options for select patients who meet strict criteria. To qualify for adolescent bariatric surgery, most patients must:

  • Have a BMI in the 95th percentile or greater
  • Have been unsuccessful with supervised medical weight loss
  • Have obesity-related medical conditions
  • Be able to comply with rigorous post-operative dietary, exercise and medical guidelines
  • Understand and agree with the procedure

Patients may be ineligible if they:

  • Have an active substance use disorder (including smoking)
  • Have a medical, cognitive or psychiatric disability that prevents adherence to program
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to be pregnant within one year
  • Are unable or unwilling to understand and support procedure, or if their family does not understand or support it

When medical and behavioral weight loss programs have proved unsuccessful for teenagers who are severely obese, bariatric surgery may be the most effective treatment, resolving over 80% of weight-related health issues.

Comprehensive Care from a Multidisciplinary Team

Our multidisciplinary team focuses on the unique medical, behavioral, nutritional and psychological needs of each patient. The first appointment, which takes about three hours, includes a detailed consultation with many types of specialists, including:

  • Board-certified pediatric surgeon
  • Registered dietitian
  • Child and adolescent psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Physical therapist
  • Registered nurse

At your first appointment:

  • You will meet with the surgeon and the bariatric coordinator, who will complete a thorough medical history and evaluation. They will discuss the program requirements, surgical options, risks and expected outcomes of surgery. Pre-operative testing required for surgery will also be discussed.
  • Initial goals for behavior change and weight management will be identified. You will meet with our bariatric dietitian, who will evaluate the eating habits of both your child and the whole family. Our dietitian will provide education on making good food choices and make recommendations to maximize success in the program.

To schedule an appointment with the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, call 630.933.4596.

Locations & Contact Information

    Related Resources

    Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital is a collaborative program between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Lurie Children's and its affiliated physician groups. The physicians participating in this program are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital.
    Koebnick, C. et al. Prevalence of extreme obesity in a multiethnic cohort of children and adolescents. J. Pediatr. 2010; 157:26-31e22.