Bariatric surgery is the most effective intervention for weight loss and obesity-related comorbidities currently available. Little is known about adolescents entering National Health Service (NHS) bariatric programmes. We aimed to characterise those entering a pathway and report their outcomes.Design
Prospective service evaluation of patients assessed within a single NHS adolescent bariatric service.Results
50 patients assessed between 26 July 2007 and 27 January 2014; 6 (12%) were not eligible for surgery, 7 (14%) actively opted out, 8 (16%) were lost to follow-up and 29 (58%) underwent surgery (18 sleeve gastrectomy (SG) 11 Roux-en-y gastric bypass (RYGB) and 0 adjustable gastric band). Mean (SD) age at initial assessment was 16.0 (1.3) years and 18.3 (1.3) at surgery (youngest 15.7 years). Mean time taken to surgery was 1.8 years; longer in those with higher body mass index (BMI) and aged below 14 at first assessment. Mean (SD) BMI at surgery was 53.1 (8.3) kg/m2, lower in those undergoing RYGB (−5.2, 95% CI −11.6 to 1.13). Follow-up was inconsistent and challenging; 1/29 (3.5%) was transferred to a regional centre, 10/29 (34.5%) attended ongoing follow-up within our protocol, 6/29 (20.7%) had intermittent monitoring and 12/29 (41.4%) were lost to follow-up. Mean BMI change at 1 year (−14.0 kg/m2) and complications were similar to published cohorts. Data from 11 lost to follow-up were obtained and outcomes appeared similar to those who actively followed up.Conclusion
Adolescent bariatric surgery in the NHS appears effective, with outcomes similar to those reported internationally. Further work is needed to optimise postsurgical surveillance and reduce age at surgery.