If you are a teen who struggles with extreme obesity, you may be able to turn to a duodenal switch surgeon for help. These surgeons perform one of the most effective surgeries for weight loss.
Essentially, this procedure involves removing a large part of the stomach and basically attaching the esophagus to the small intestines. However, it leaves intact the duodenum, the place where the stomach meets the small intestine and where most digestion takes place.
If you are a teen thinking about a duodenal switch, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Look for a surgeon who provides a range of options
When you go to a duodenal switch surgeon for help, they will have to decide if you are ready for the operation. In most cases, you need to be an adult on a medical level -- if you are a well developed teen, the surgeon may be willing to move forward, but if you are just starting puberty, you may need to wait until you are older.
However, while you wait, ideally, you want a clinic who can help you with your medical needs and weight loss management.
2. Consider duodenal switch if you have diabetes
If your surgeon decides your body is mature enough for the surgery, he or she may suggest other options. There are pros and cons of every type of bariatric surgery, but if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea, the switch is typically the best option because it provides the most relief to those issues.
3. Integrate therapy
The best DS surgeons offer their patients a comprehensive care plan that include the surgery as well as nutrition advice and counseling. Being a teen can be hard regardless of any health problems you may have.
To help you through any fear around the procedure and to help you process your changing post-op body shape, you want to work with a clinic that integrates therapy with the switch.
4. Schedule procedure during school holidays
The duodenal switch takes only a few hours to complete, and it only involves a day or two in the hospital. However, for about a month after the procedure, you are likely to feel fatigue as well as emotional highs and lows.
So that you don't have to endure your recovery while also going to school, try to schedule your operation during school breaks. Alternatively, consider taking off a semester as a homeschooler. Many states have free online programs that make it easy.
5. Prepare to follow doctor's orders
The teen years are often a time to carve out independence. However, if you have the switch, you have to prepare to be compliant with your doctor's orders. If you hate following rules, it may be better to wait until you are a bit older.
After the surgery, you will need to be reliable about taking meds, bariatric vitamins, and eating right. For more information, talk to a center like Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas.