The Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia launches the first Adolescent Obesity Unit of the Valencian private health system. The Unit, formed by a multidisciplinary team, has prestigious doctors specialized in obesity in childhood and adolescence and includes experts in nutrition, psychology, endocrinology, sports science and bariatric and metabolic surgery with the aim of providing an effective response to the challenge of obesity in childhood and adolescence in all its grades, as well as solving the serious diseases associated with overweight and improving the quality of life of adolescents.

Currently two out of ten adolescents are obese, but the most worrisome is their increase, as reported by Dr. Carlos Sala, bariatric surgeon and head of the Obesity Unit of Quirónsalud Valencia, "the number of obese adolescents has doubled since the decade of the eighties and with it the number of associated diseases that these young people present ". As the specialist claims, the obese adolescent presents a risk of cardiovascular mortality between three to five times greater when it reaches fifty years. In addition, in type 2 diabetes of the obese adolescent Beta cells of the pancreas are consumed four times faster than in an adult, which causes lesions in the kidney, in the retina and in the peripheral nerves more early at five years of its start. It should be noted that one third of obese adolescents have Sleep Apnea Syndrome and an increased risk of colon, breast, ovarian cancer, etc. in young adulthood.

How to treat the obese teenager

Thanks to the multidisciplinary team that makes up this new unit, the obese adolescent is treated by nutritionists, psychologists and specialists in sports medicine with the aim of redirecting the adolescent towards new healthy habits in terms of nutrition and daily physical activity. After a period of six to twelve months, the response in terms of weight loss and remission of associated diseases will be evaluated, indicating surgical treatment in unsatisfactory cases.

As Dr. Carlos Sala explains, "adolescents who have not achieved optimal weight loss after that period should resort to surgery. The American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, recommends its implementation in obese adolescent patients with a body mass index greater than 35 or who are 120% above the 95th percentile and who also suffer comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, apnea of sleep, hypertension, etc. "

The most appropriate surgical technique in these cases is vertical laparoscopic gastrectomy. "Thanks to this minimally invasive technique," says the specialist, "we will achieve greater weight loss than other techniques, but with a lower risk and better absorption of iron, calcium and other nutrients needed in the adolescent's growth stage. The patient is discharged at forty-eight hours, without pain, and will be able to reincorporate to his academic life ten days after the intervention without interrupting the school year ".

Among the many benefits of this surgery are a maintenance of long-term weight loss and an almost total cure of the serious diseases associated with adolescent obesity such as hypertension and diabetes. "Compared with adults," concludes Dr. Sala, "bariatric surgery in adolescents achieves greater weight loss, more lasting over time, with fewer complications, and with a higher rate of resolution of associated diseases. that is, better metabolic response".

Labels: Quirónsalud Valencia; childhood obesity; obesity; obese young; obesity in the adolescent