American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Children and Bariatric Surgery

Guests: Marc P. Michalsky, MD, FACS, director of bariatric surgery and surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH.

Listen to this episode.

Approximately 17 percent of the pediatric and adolescent populations are considered obese.1 Obesity in children is related to other maladies including diabetes, hypertension, liver disease and cardiac ailments. Weight loss surgical procedures have been shown to be effective and can reduce the associated illnesses brought on by obesity in adults. But should these same strategies also be used to treat obesity in children?

In this episode of The Recovery Room, host Dr. Rick Greene addresses these issues with guest Marc P. Michalsky, MD, FACS, an expert in bariatric surgery in children and adolescents.

“Anyone with a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or higher…means that you are, by definition, a candidate at least to have a conversation about surgical intervention,” Dr. Michalsky said. “When you look at groups of individuals who are in this very high category of body mass index, the more conventional, nonsurgical methods of weight loss tend to work much less successfully.”

Dr. Michalsky said the conclusion thus far is that weight loss operations are safe and efficacious. However, other questions arise about the ability of children to do well in school after such an operation, and the impact on a possible future pregnancy. An important decision must also be made in choosing the right facility for a weight loss procedure.

To find out more, listen to this episode of The Recovery Room.

1 Feldstein AE, Patton-Ku D, Boutelle KN. Obesity, Nutrition and Liver Disease in Children. Clinics in liver disease. 2014;18(1):219-231.


Marc P. Michalsky, MD, FACS, is the director of bariatric surgery and surgical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH. He is also involved in research examining outcomes following surgical weight reduction in the morbidly obese adolescent population.