Call: 1-202-476-5000

Bariatric Surgery Program
Meet Our Team
Resources for Families
Referral Guidelines
Contact Information
Request an Appointment
Best Children's Hospitals
Ranked in 10 specialties: Neonatology, Cancer, Heart and Heart Surgery, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Respiratory Disorders, Digestive Disorders, Orthopaedics, Urology, and Kidney Disease
Email This Page
Print This Page

Referral Guidelines

Bariatric Surgery Program - Referral Guidelines

The Weight-Loss Surgery Program at Children’s National helps adolescents who are severely obese through surgical intervention coordinated with medical management in the IDEAL clinic, or in the patient’s primary medical home. While diet and behavior changes can help some adolescents, many of these patients go on to become obese adults. The efficacy of diet and behavioral changes can be strengthened in some adolescents with surgical procedures. Weight loss through bariatric surgery is one way to treat severe obesity in adolescents by producing significant weight loss, correcting obesity-related medical conditions, and improving self-image 
and socialization.

Children’s National is the only pediatric program in the region performing weight-loss surgery.

Referral Guidelines for Children’s Bariatric Surgery Program

To be considered for weight-loss surgery, patients must meet specific criteria. Patients who wish to undergo weight-loss surgery must:

  • Have a BMI of at least 35 with an obesity-related comorbidity or greater than 40 without a comorbidity. These criteria are the ones recommended by the NIH for adults.

  • Have a history of obesity for at least 3 years, including documented failed attempts at diet and medical management of obesity.

  • Complete all clinically required laboratory and diagnostic tests.

  • Have confirmation from a psychologist or psychiatrist that he or she is sufficiently mature to comply with the clinical protocol.

  • Complete follow-up visits during 3 years after surgery.

Bariatric Surgery Program - Referral Guidelines - Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center