More teens get unapproved weight-loss surgery

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A type of weight-loss surgery not approved for adolescents is becoming more and more common among teens in California, according to a report published today.
Most of the patients are white girls, although they make up less than half of overweight youth, researchers say.
From 2005 to 2007, they found rates of so-called gastric banding, in which a silicone band is placed around the top portion of the stomach to restrict food intake, rose five-fold. However, use of gastric bypass — which surgically reduces the size of the stomach — dropped, leaving the overall rate of weight-loss procedures constant.
Despite not being approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adolescents younger than age 18, gastric banding overtook gastric bypass as the most frequently performed weight-loss procedure in this age group, Dr. Daniel DeUgarte and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles, report in the journal Pediatrics.
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