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  Study: Lap band surgery effective for morbidly obese children
November 1, 2009

In FDA-approved trial, adolescents had 45 percent weight loss two years after surgery

Evan Paul Nadler, MD, Co-Director, Obesity Institute
Evan Nadler, MD, Co-director, Obesity Institute
Washington, DC—A surgeon at Children’s National Medical Center and his colleagues from New York University have found laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (Lap band) to improve the health of morbidly obese adolescents.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, involved nearly 50 girls and boys ages 14-17. The participants showed significant decreases in total and android fat mass 2 years after surgery. Android fat has been linked to the development of obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance.  

“This study is the first to demonstrate the improvements in overall health and distribution of weight loss after Lap band surgery in adolescents,” said Evan Nadler, MD, the lead author and pediatric surgeon at Children’s National. “While weight-loss surgery should always be a last resort for adults and adolescents, these findings show us that surgery in adolescents reduces the risk of significant health complications.”

The study found that Lap band surgery improved glucose metabolism, reducing the adolescents’ risk of developing insulin resistance. Additionally, bone mineral density was not impacted by the surgery, suggesting that bone growth is not affected.

Dr. Nadler is the co-director of the Obesity Institute at Children’s National Medical Center, which is comprehensively addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity. Staff includes pediatricians, nutritionists, psychologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, and surgeons who treat patients and families in a clinical setting. The Obesity Institute also includes researchers looking at genetic differences and racial disparities, particularly among children and adolescents, as well as community-based research among different ethnic groups. 

Dr. Nadler was an investigator for Allergan, which makes the device used in the study. Funding was provided by the Harris Obesity Prevention Effort at New York University and performed at NYU Medical Center.



Related links

 The Obesity Institute at Children’s National Medical Center
 Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome research and clinical trials at Children’s National.
 Read the accompanying study from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons
 Children's Bariatric Surgery Program
 The Bariatric Surgery Program Referral Guidelines



Contact: Emily Dammeyer/Jennifer Leischer: 202-476-4500.


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About Children’s National Medical Center
Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a proven leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is proudly ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit http://www.childrensnational.org/. Children’s Research Institute, the academic arm of Children’s National Medical Center, encompasses the translational, clinical, and community research efforts of the institution. Learn more about our research programs at www.childrensnational.org/research.




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