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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005, 19:24 GMT
Stomach surgery for obese teens
Child at a Texas clinic where 40% of children are obese
Surgery will be a last resort
A South Yorkshire hospital could be the first in England to offer stomach surgery for overweight teenagers.

Banding, a procedure similar to stomach-stapling, is used to treat obese adults but is rare for children.

A consultant at Sheffield Children's Hospital said the surgery was being considered for a small number of patients in their early teens.

"We have one or two children we are considering some form of gastro-surgery for their weight problem," he said.

During the procedure the surgeon reduces the size of the stomach capacity so the patient feels fuller quicker when eating.

Lifestyle choices

Dr Neil Wright said he was unaware of it being used on other teenagers in the UK.

He added that the children would also be given lifestyle choices and the education and information to make informed decisions.

"We have not carried out any surgery yet, there have been no operations," he said.

If an operation did take place it would be as a last resort, he added.

"We are being very careful to get expert opinion to make sure this is in the children's best interests.

"It is not suitable for everybody. It is not the magic bullet treatment."

He was seeing an increasing number of young people with obesity, he said.

"Perhaps there is some medical explanation for it but it is not uncommon to see children as young as three, four and upwards with nutritional obesity."


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